Goodwin draws on Blight AFL experience

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Melbourne's Simon Goodwin will invoke the coaching spirit of Malcolm Blight in AFL grand-final week as he seeks to emulate his former mentor by climbing onto the premiership dais.

Goodwin will lead the Demons' bid to end a 57-year flag drought when they take on the Western Bulldogs in Saturday night's season decider.

It comes more than two decades after Blight steered Adelaide to successive premierships in 1997-98, with Goodwin featuring in both triumphs as an inexperienced Crows player.

"There's no question you learn off coaches and Blighty's someone for me that I learnt a lot off in the big games," Goodwin told Fox Footy on Tuesday night.

"It's about making sure you keep that enjoyment and keep the environment light, where they (the players) are still enjoying what they do.

"There's a pressure there and it is normal, but really soaking the atmosphere in and then getting to work and being as competitive as you can.

"My role within that is to be a really stable influence around the playing group this week."

Goodwin played in grand finals against St Kilda and North Melbourne in the 10th and 31st games of his 15-year Adelaide career.

Now in his fifth year as Melbourne coach, the 44-year-old sees similarities in the likes of young Demon Jake Bowey, who will make his seventh senior appearance against the Bulldogs at Optus Stadium.

The 19-year-old defender is one of seven players in the Demons side with fewer than 40 games to their names.

"That was me in 1997, 10 games into my career," Goodwin said.

"For them it's excitement, it's new and it's raw, and a lot of those guys will just go out and play. They've got no fear."

All Australian defender Jake Lever is the only player in the Melbourne side with prior grand-final experience, having featured in Adelaide's unsuccessful 2017 team.

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