Mobile Gawn says he needs fine-tuning

Max+Gawn+AFL+Rd+4+Melbourne+v+GWS+yhMDe9CRs3blMELBOURNE’S Max Gawn aspires to join the upper echelon of AFL ruckmen, but says he needs to fine-tune his game if he is to join players such as Todd Goldstein at the top of that category.

Subbing in for Jack Watts, who was originally nominated to speak to the media only to call in sick due to a migraine, Gawn said he had not reached Goldstein’s level yet.

“There’s probably a group of five or six elite AFL ruckman and I want to have my name in that (group),” Gawn said on Monday.

“So if I keep going the way I’m going – obviously I need to get ruckman to stop kicking five goals on me – hopefully I can run out games and get some consistency going.”

Gawn played a vital role in the Demons’ 35-point win over Collingwood on Sunday, racking up 35 hit-outs, 15 disposals and five tackles, and kicking a goal late in the final term to carry his side over the magical 100-point barrier.That followed an intriguing battle with Goldstein the previous week in which the North ruckman booted five goals and had 38 hit-outs as Gawn amassed 63 hit-outs, including 25 to advantage.

After the well-deserved victory over the Magpies, Melbourne now turns its attention to Sunday night’s duel with Richmond at the MCG.

Ivan Maric is set to return from an ongoing back concern for the Tigers, bolstering the club’s ruck division with Shaun Hampson under an injury cloud due to a badly corked thigh.

Having put a middling Collingwood to the sword on Sunday, Melbourne has the opportunity to win back-to-back matches for the first time since the middle of 2011.

“We don’t want to be that team that everyone predicts us to have a bad game one in three weeks. That’s what we need to build on,” Gawn said.

“We’re five (wins) out of seven (matches) if you include the NAB Challenge, and we’ve been in front in the last quarter every game we’ve played in.

“We’re slowly starting to build the right brand of footy and if we keep playing that brand we can hopefully show [up against] any team.”