Max Gawn defends Simon Goodwin amid explosive Herald Sun report, Melbourne Demons news

Melbourne captain Max Gawn has come to the defence of his under-fire coach Simon Goodwin, saying the pair will continue to catch up on a social capacity.

Goodwin and the Demons have been forced to fend off questions over the club’s culture, after a damning News Corp report revealed explosive allegations that had been made about the premiership-winning coach’s behaviour prior to the 2021 season.

The alleged behavioural concerns included Goodwin’s frequent visits to a Sorrento pub, where he’d reportedly been spotted with his players on numerous occasions.

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Despite the criticism levelled at his coach, Gawn said he would continue to maintain the same relationship he’s had with Goodwin over the last few years.

“I am going to continue to have a beer with my boss and my coach and what we learnt over a couple of beers at the pub at our local at the time, maybe that is when we nutted out 2021 and we were able to go on to what we did,” Gawn said after training on Wednesday.

“I am going to continue to do that in a professional sense and just a ‘chew the fat’ at 1 o’clock on a Saturday arvo.”

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Also included in the report were claims of workplace bullying, something Gawn batted down.

“No,” Gawn flatly answered when asked if he had concerns over Goodwin’s behaviour.

“Goody’s a very close mate of mine. I’ve never had a relationship with a coach like that. He is quite young, so he’s a modern coach. We’re able to chew the fat a lot, and then go serious.

“But in terms of bullying, I haven’t seen it personally … I’ve seen none at all.”

While the News Corp report has been an unwelcome distraction from the Demons’ pre-season, it has not deterred the club from working on extending Goodwin.

According to The Age, Melbourne is “in the final stages” of negotiating a contract extension with the 45-year-old, who has been at the helm since the 2017 season.

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