Mark Neeld
Mark Neeld

Melbourne coach Mark Neeld has played down the significance of his side's first encounter with former Demon Tom Scully.

Melbourne took Scully with the first pick of the 2009 National Draft only for him to leave to join Greater Western Sydney after just two seasons.

And the match at the MCG on Sunday will be the first time Scully has faced his former team-mates on the field since the split.

But Neeld said Scully's return has not been a focus for his charges, who are coming off the bye in round 12.

"(There's been a) lot of talk by you guys about Tom Scully, not a lot of talk by us," Neeld said at AAMI Park on Thursday.

"Tom's a young, talented player. I thought he had a really good duel with (Richmond's Brett) Deledio last week.

"I've never met Tom. He seems like a young talented player - runs a fair bit, got good skills - he's playing for the opposition on Sunday."

With the two clubs boasting just one win apiece through the first 12 rounds of the season, the match on Sunday shapes an ideal opportunity for one team to gain a rare victory, and Neeld feels the Giants - who were ultra-competitive in a 12-point loss to Richmond on Saturday - will provide a stern test.

"It should be a really good competitive game," Neeld said.

"We went up and had a look at them play on the weekend against Richmond.

"That was a really good game of footy I thought. They're going about things really well, GWS."

Just a day after Demons midfielders Nathan Jones and James Magner declared the club were looking to the second half of the season as a new beginning, Neeld said his team had not set a target on the number of wins from their final 11 games.

"The trap with the win stuff - that's all about outcomes and you can't achieve those outcomes unless you have some actions along the way," he said.

"They're (performance indicators) different for different clubs because everyone's at a different stage of development, trying to achieve different things."

Neeld said 24-year-old defender Clint Bartram was gutted with the news he would miss the rest of the season with a degenerative knee complaint.

"When you do something that you love and that's your passion and you cop an injury that says you're going to miss the season, or in Clint's case half the season, initially that's hard to take," he said.

"We sat down with Clint and went through with him what his rehab is going to look like and in the initial stages, that's tough.

"He'll be right, he's a good strong resilient character and he'll get through it, I'm sure."


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