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Dawes excited by Clark combo

Sportal November 14, 2012, 4:03 pm

Melbourne recruit Chris Dawes is excited about the prospect of playing alongside Mitch Clark next season and believes the duo can form a formidable partnership at the Demons for many years to come.

The former Collingwood big man joined the Dees via the trade table last month and has already set about making his mark at his new club and helping them climb up the ladder in 2013.

Dawes formed a strong relationship with Travis Cloke while playing mainly as a forward at the Pies early in his career and the 24-year-old thinks he will be able to set-up a similar understanding with Clark at his new club.

"It is a really exciting prospect to be able to work up forward with Mitch Clark," Dawes said on Wednesday.

"I was so impressed at how he was the focal point in their forward line this year

"At Brisbane I knew he was talented, but I didn't know he was quite the player he was when he got to Melbourne.

"He impressed me a lot just watching him as an outsider this season just gone

"The opportunity to play alongside him is just really exciting and we are expecting to perform a pretty powerful tandem for the next few years."

Dawes is coming off a disappointing season with the Magpies, having managed just 16 goals from 23 matches while playing in a role predominately as a forward who spent some time in the ruck.

Melbourne coach Mark Neeld has already revealed he plans to use Dawes solely as a forward in 2013 and, that's fine, according to the former Magpie.

"Neeldy's style of coaching is something I think I will really respond to and I think he will get me playing my best footy," Dawes said.

"I didn't handle the ruck role at Collingwood as well as I would have liked as it wasn't a natural role for me.

"It seems like I have played my best footy as a permanent forward and I am hoping that this new environment will get me back to playing that good confident football I am capable of."

And Dawes is already eyeing off a spot in Melbourne's leadership group.

"I have always rated my leadership qualities and if I am in a position of leadership I'm sure that will bring out the best football in me," Dawes said.

"If my team-mates feel that it is appropriate and I feel it is appropriate ... it is certainly something I am interested in.

"But we'll deal with that down the track when it is the appropriate time."

Meanwhile, Clint Bartram has been forced into retirement due to chronic knee injuries.

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