Green's final fling coming early

Sportal August 23, 2012, 11:13 am
Brad Green

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Melbourne coach Mark Neeld has revealed veteran Brad Green will finish his career on Sunday at the MCG against Adelaide.

After previously flagging his retirement at season's end, Neeld said Green will end his 13-year career in front of his home faithful on 254 matches this weekend.

"After discussions last week, Brad came to the realisation that he wanted his last game for our footy club to be at the MCG," Neeld said at AAMI Park.

"It is still going to be a tribute game for Brad. These sort of things deserve to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. We're not going to play finals, so we're in a situation we think that's fair enough."

However, Green will still travel with the side for their Round 23 clash against Fremantle in Perth next week, as he undertakes an observatory role in the coaches' box.

Neeld said Green has been on the coaching path for some time now, as he has been through a training course with the AFL Players' Association.

"It's something we've spoken about for quite a while... he's certainly shown an interest in coaching, so he's doing all the education part of it, and he's going to come and have a week's look to (see) what it's like being a coach," Neeld said.

"So a bit of experience, a bit of testing the water, and Brad Green I don't think will be lost to the footy industry at all."

The Demons won the corresponding fixture last season by a whopping 96 points in 2011, and Melbourne now have the losing Crows coach that day Neil Craig in their corner.

And Neeld said his players had been chewing their sports performance director's ear off about some of their upcoming opponents.

"Neil's a very influential character around the club every week. A couple of players have no doubt had a chat to him about some of the players," he said.

"(He's) full of knowledge about some of the individual players... Adelaide footy club has changed a little bit since Craigy left, they've modified their game style, have a new coaching group."

Neeld denied Adelaide would be any more motivated than usual to make a statement against his side, after Brenton Sanderson's side slumped to a shock 10-point loss to the Brisbane Lions last week to throw the battle for a home qualifying final wide open.

"I just think that they'll be looking at areas to improve. Gone are the days where coaches get up and do all this motivational 'rah rah' type activity, it's about continual improvement," he said.

"They've still got a significant part of their season to go, and that's for Sando and his group to work out with his players."

Forward Mitch Clark will be ready for the start of the Demons' pre-season, with Neeld saying the big man had recovered well from foot surgery.

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