‘Lie through your teeth’: Demons feud erupts
IT'S fair to say that Mark Neeld and Brad Green have differing recollections of how Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove became Melbourne co-captains.
With the Demons entering their first finals campaign since 2006, one of the darkest periods in the club's history was revisited on Tuesday night.
Neeld, the former Melbourne head coach who was sacked after five wins from 33 games, was interviewed by respected journalist Mike Sheahan on his Fox Footy show Open Mike.
Green captained the club in 2011, but was stripped of the role by Neeld in his first year in charge in favour of Grimes and Trengove, who were 22 and 20 respectively.
"I wouldn't say that he was dumped," Neeld said in his recollection of the decision.
"I think that all leadership positions were open ... Brad was aware of that. The information or discussions that I had with Brad were that that sat well with him ... that they were all open.
"He just wanted to see how his teammates rated his behaviours."
Green, who wasn't even included in the extended leadership group, felt compelled to take to Twitter with his thoughts.
"Open Mike with Mark Neeld #pinocchio," he tweeted with an accompanying emoji of a face with a long nose.
Demons great Brent Moloney went a step further, directly accusing Neeld of lying about the captaincy circus.
"Wow! Are you serious?" Moloney posted on his Instagram account.
"There was no leadership vote? It was picked by the coaches and Cam Schwab. It was part of their big five year plan!!! How can you sit there on national television and lie through your teeth? This is your chance to redeem yourself and say you made a few mistakes.
"It really just shows the type of character we were dealing with!! I couldn't even watch it. Anyways, on to bigger and better things this Friday night #GoDees."
SEN Breakfast revealed on Wednesday morning that Green knocked back an offer to explain his tweet and chose not to reveal his exact point of contention with Neeld's interview.
The Herald Sun's Sam Edmund told the morning show that Green's tweet suggests lingering "bad blood" behind the Demons' dark days under Neeld's leadership.
"We're not sure exactly what his bone of contention was, but there could be some bad blood," he said.
Demons legend Garry Lyon backed up Neeld's version of events that Grimes and Trengove were voted into the captaincy by the playing group.
"My understanding was it was put to a vote and the players voted them in and that's how they got the job," Lyon said.
Green retired at the end of the 2012 season, while Neeld was sacked halfway through the 2013 campaign after the Demons managed one win from their first 11 games.
He would eventually join Essendon as a development coach under James Hird before taking up a more senior role as John Worsfold's right-hand man after he replaced Hird late in 2015.
Neeld was fired this year after the Bombers lurched to a 2-6 start to the season, the team going on to finish 11th with a 12-10 record. He departed amid reports his powerful role had created discord in the coaches box.
"To say that I didn't let anyone talk to Woosha ... that's ridiculous," Neeld said.
"It's as simple as my role in the box was to ask people questions to ensure that they were giving John the information that he wanted.
"... There was great alignment between Rob Kerr, when he was GM of football, and Woosha with regard to the (coaching) structure then Rob left at the end of last year.
"Dan Richardson came from Richmond and he was not aligned to Woosha's structure." The game performance coach role Neeld vacated wasn't filled.
- with AAP
LIONS PLAY DANGEROUS GAME WITH LACHIE NEALE OFFER
BRISBANE'S reported interest in applying to the AFL for a priority draft pick puts the club in dangerous territory in its pursuit of Dockers star Lachie Neale.
The Fremantle gun has arrived back in Perth after meeting Brisbane coach Chris Fagan and is reportedly weighing up his options with both clubs reportedly placing contracts in front of him.
"I'm just working through it at the moment," Neale said, according to Perth Now, when he returned to Perth on Tuesday night.
"It'll probably take a while."
Neale is contracted with Fremantle until the end of 2019.
According to reports Brisbane is willing to hand over its first round draft pick to force a deal with the Dockers for Neale.
The club's application for a priority pick would likely be sunk if Neale agrees to the move.
POWER STAR SNUBS TEAMMATES
PORT Adelaide star Jared Polec has reportedly left his Power teammates on the outer surrounding his wedding plans.
The 25-year-old has reportedly been offered mega-rich deals from North Melbourne and St Kilda that Port Adelaide is unable to match.
According to reports he is widely tipped to leave to a Victorian club this off-season.
His reported interest in moving on from the Power appears to have created something of a wedge between him and his teammates with reports that Polec has not invited any of his Power teammates to his wedding this off-season.
Power star Brad Ebert told Triple M Adelaide on Tuesday that he was not invited to attend Polec's nuptials and said he isn't aware of any other Power player meriting an invitation.
Fox Sports has reported Polec has a five-year offer on the table from the Roos, reportedly in the vicinity of $3.5 million. The club is also reportedly prepared to hand over its first round pick to strike a deal with Port.
Channel 9 reported earlier this week St Kilda has also upped its previous offer to almost $4 million on a five-year deal.
SAINTS MOVE ON VETERAN
ST Kilda have axed veteran Sam Gilbert, telling the 32-year-old defender he won't be offered a contract for the next AFL season.
Gilbert, who played 208 AFL games for the Saints, hasn't ruled out continuing his career at another club.
"I will take my time to weigh up what is next but I respect the club's decision," Gilbert said in a statement on Wednesday.
Saints coach Alan Richardson praised Gilbert's selfless contribution in his 13-year career at the club.
"Gilbo has played some strong footy for us this season but we also have to balance that with the fact that we have a number of young defenders coming through," Richardson said in a statement.
"It's up to the young guys to step up and make that position their own next season and play with the same team-first attitude and physicality that Gilbo always did." Gilbert is the fifth player delisted by St Kilda since season's end with Hugh Goddard, Nathan Freeman, Nathan Wright and Ray Connellan cut, while Koby Stevens has retired.