Dees fitness guru on top of AFL schedule

Melbourne are depending on fitness guru Darren Burgess (l) to get them through a busy AFL schedule.
Melbourne are depending on fitness guru Darren Burgess (l) to get them through a busy AFL schedule.

Melbourne maintain they have the ideal person to help them through the AFL's upcoming jam-packed fixture list.

As the AFL plans to schedule up to 33 games across 19 consecutive days, teams could be asked to back-up after just four-day breaks.

Injuries have already taken a toll this season with clubs navigating their way through interrupted training schedules due to COVID-19 roadblocks.

But Demons coach Simon Goodwin believes his players are well placed in the hands of highly regarded fitness boss Darren Burgess.

After spending time with English Premier League giants Liverpool and Arsenal, Burgess knows how to get footballers firing following minimal rest.

"It's something we're not used to as an AFL industry, but our high-performance manager Darren Burgess has a lot of experience in the soccer," Goodwin told reporters.

"He has experience in compressed fixtures so we'll lean on him a fair bit around what our training and preparation looks like.

"We're bringing our whole squad up so we're going to rely on our whole squad and we think we run pretty deep."

The Demons (2-3) will on Monday relocate to Queensland for up to 10 weeks following Sunday's clash at Giants Stadium against Hawthorn.

After defeating Gold Coast last Saturday to get their season back on track, Melbourne will battle the under-fire Hawks without Tom McDonald.

The key forward was taken to hospital as a precaution after copping an accidental finger to the eye during the first term against the Suns.

"He saw an eye specialist and it's just an area you don't mess around with," Goodwin said.

"He'll have a week off and make sure we don't do any further damage to that eye and he's fully recovered."

Former Geelong and Essendon forward Mitch Brown and young tall Luke Jackson are being considered to replace McDonald.

Australian Associated Press