Christian Petracca’s move into middle strikes gold for Melbourne Demons

In 2014, Melbourne was lucky enough to also find gold in Warrandyte, albeit gold that wasn’t hidden very well.

This year Petracca has emerged, alongside Marcus Bontempelli, as one of the most impactful players in the game.

They’re the basis of his ability to combine speed and strength, the key attributes of players at the top of the game.

In Petracca’s very first pre-season, Petracca suffered one of the worst fates imaginable for a young footballer — a torn ACL.

To ease Petracca back from injury, Melbourne played the youngster mostly up forward, with pinch-hitting contributions up the ground.

Melbourne’s relative strength in the middle allowed them to pursue such a cautious strategy, with Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney, Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes and Nathan Jones fighting for time in the middle.

So far this year, Petracca is leading the league in inside 50s and he is third in score involvements.

Petracca has a bigger frame than most midfielders, able to bully his way to the ball when required.

When the ball is in the air, Petracca is able to read the ball better than most and react.

Petracca’s weakness so far this year has been the number of turnovers he has committed.

When Lynch signed the deal, he was instantly made one of the 50 highest-paid players in the game.

Until now, locking in players’ salaries in current dollars has proven to be extremely valuable for clubs.

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