Gawn determined to build on performance

Max Gawn5Ruckman Max Gawn says he’s determined to build on his impressive effort against the Hawks at the MCG on Saturday.

Although the Demons went down by 50 points, the return and form of Gawn was a genuine positive from the match. He had 15 touches, 18 hit outs and kicked 2.3 after some stellar form for Casey in the VFL.

But he said he needed to capitalise on his efforts for the rest of the season.

“I’ve been doing that (playing well) in the VFL for a while now and I just can’t seem to make that next step, so I’ve got to bring my VFL footy into the AFL,” Gawn told Dee TV.

“Today (Saturday) was a good step forward and I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing on the track.

“I missed a lot of the start of the year and pre-season, so I’m actually feeling fresh at this time of the year, compared to a lot of the other blokes. I’ve got to be driving the training standards – and I’m running pretty well during games – so since I’m feeling pretty fresh, I’ve got to be driving them.

“I’ve had one goodish game and I’ve got to do it against GWS now.”

Gawn said it was tough coming up against Hawthorn and “two quality ruckmen” in Ben McEvoy and David Hale, but added it was an invaluable experience to play against the brown and gold.

“You’ve always got to be switched on when they’ve got the ball, because they can kick it anywhere with the likes of [Matt] Suckling, [Grant] Birchall and [Josh] Gibson coming off half-back,” he said.

“They can kick it anywhere and one mistake and you’re done, so you’ve got to play pretty good footy and you’ve got to be on for the day.”

The ruckman/forward said Melbourne’s performance was “a hard game to assess” in some respects.

“The first quarter we were in it and didn’t really take our chances. In the second quarter, we gave them their goals and in the third and fourth we had to fight, but the damage was done in the second quarter,” he said.

“We could have fallen away in that second half and it [could have] been a 100-point loss.

“It’s not a cop out and we’re not going to take a 50-point loss … so hopefully we can take [second half] that into GWS.”

Gawn said coach Paul Roos was frustrated with several of players’ slow start, before they hit back in the second half.

“There were a couple of players not getting into it in the first half and they were copping a spray at half-time and then they actually got into it,” he said.

“It [about] coming out in the first and second quarter and actually playing your role from the get-go and being in it at half-time, rather than trying to play catch-up and that was his main message.”