"Perfect timing."

That is what Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said when the club hosted former coach, and player Neale Daniher on Tuesday, who is also the face of the FIGHTMND campaign, in the lead-up to the annual Big Freeze King's Birthday clash.

Fresh off a 92-point drubbing from Fremantle in Alice Springs - the worst loss under Goodwin - the Demons are looking for inspiration and they needn't look very far.

Daniher was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2013 and has battled courageously for over a decade, dedicating his life to educating and seeking a cure for 'the beast'.

Goodwin - who is looking to galvanise his troops and get their season back on track after falling out of the top eight - described Daniher's presence at Melbourne HQ and messaging as a "perfect segway" to what the club wants to do on Monday.


"It was perfect timing for us," Goodwin told reporters on Friday.

"He's such an inspiration to us in so many ways. Obviously being a Melbourne person... one thing you learn from Neale, quickly, in adversity or your toughest moments, which he is in in life, there's always an opportunity.


"And obviously what he's able to do for MND, the fight against the beast, he looked at what was possible and able to raise the amount of money for a cure.

"And for us, (for Neale) to be able to deliver that message, what's our opportunity and what was our darkest moment in terms of the game played on the weekend, it was a perfect segway and a perfect lesson from Neale to look at what's possible and the opportunities that sit in front of us."

Aside from the opening five minutes, the Demons were nowhere to be seen, demolished in all statistical measures in an unlike-Melbourne performance.

Goodwin has declared the club has taken "ownership" of its performance but will not sit in that feeling for too long.

“If you're not burning after a 92-point loss, then there's something wrong. It sits in your guts, you're disappointed, because you're disappointed with how it was seen and how you played," Goodwin continued.

“There's an opportunity that's staring us right in the face this week. We need to lean in and we need to get back doing the things that we know we can.

“We haven't lost our ability, we haven't lost the unity that will drive that, but we need to create an identity that's going to be consistent.”

TIO Traeger Park

Despite the huge occasion that will see over 83,000 fans flock to the MCG, there's also another added spice between Collingwood and the Demons.

The last time these teams met was in the 2023 Qualifying Final, where the Pies emerged victorious by a slim margin of seven points.

However, what was most spoken about from that match was the incident between Brayden Maynard and the now-retired Angus Brayshaw due to concussion.

Goodwin quickly dismissed that the incident has been used as a talking point internally at the club, saying there's motivation elsewhere.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Simon Goodwin, Senior Coach of the Demons and Max Gawn of the Demons pause for the national anthem during the 2023 AFL First Qualifying Final match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Demons at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 07, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"We certainly haven't spoken about it internally," Goodwin declared.

"Worrying about the past right now isn't where we're at. We really got to worry about what's in front of us.

"It's important to focus on us and the opportunity this week and not what's happened in the past.

"We're not interested in that. We're interested in what we can do about this week's game and make sure we (produce) something we're really proud of."

Young forward Jacob Van Rooyen is likely to return to the team after missing the trip to the nation's Red Centre.

Van Rooyen experience some discomfort in his adductor last week but will be available for selection, pending he gets through training on Friday.

"He's looking likely," Goodwin said.

"We've still got a bit of training to get through. Obviously not playing until Monday so big session today and hopefully Jacob gets through that."