Demons coach Goodwin back in AFL action

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Melbourne feared their stocks would be decimated last week as a COVID-19 wave swept through the AFL club, coach Simon Goodwin says.

Goodwin was one of nine members of the Demons' football department sidelined through health and safety protocols when the reigning premiers took on Hawthorn in round seven.

Assistant coach Adem Yze took the reins in Goodwin's absence, steering the ladder leaders to a 10-point victory that maintained their perfect record for the season.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing.

"On the Wednesday, when we lost nine people from our department in one hit, there was certainly an increased risk for the rest of the week," Goodwin told Fox Footy's AFL 360.

"There was alarm bells going off everywhere at that point.

"We had five staff and four players go down on the one day so that had the potential to blow out to another 10 possibly from a staff and player perspective that haven't had COVID at this point.

"And we're lucky enough that we haven't had too many reinfections at this point, so there's a number of people that still haven't had it.

"There was that risk that it was going to blow out to a few more but they did a great job to contain it.

"We changed our program slightly and made sure we could mitigate the risk where possible."

Melbourne's success under Yze means assistant coaches around the AFL now have a 6-0 record when stepping into the lead role because of COVID-19.

Stuck at home in isolation, Goodwin had a direct line to Demons football manager Alan Richardson in the coaches' box during the Hawthorn game.

"I was probably a little bit more emotional sitting at home in the lounge room than what I would be at the game because you're not actually really in the moment," Goodwin said.

"It was very quiet here, there was really no noise, so I was certainly able to analyse the game and give some input when needed but it was a different experience."

Goodwin confirmed he will resume regular duties this week, with Melbourne set to take on St Kilda on Sunday.

"It was certainly a tough few days at the start but the health's good and I'm feeling 100 per cent back to normal," Goodwin said.

"It's certainly been a difficult week in isolation with the team playing and the outbreak that took place."

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