The Melbourne Football Club boasts a legacy as rich as any sporting organisation on the planet. Founded in May 1859, it is the world’s oldest professional football club of any variety.
MFC’s recent history is far less auspicious. Since the infamous sacking of six-time premiership coach Norm Smith in 1965, the once-mighty Demons have claimed the wooden spoon seven times and played in only two grand finals. With the Western Bulldogs’ fairytale win in 2016, Melbourne now hold the longest active streak without a premiership.
Things were looking up when Simon Goodwin steered a young, talented team to the preliminary finals in 2018, but it all fell apart the following year as the Dees plummeted to 17th on the ladder.
The question is: where do Melbourne sit in the race for the 2021 AFL Premiership title? Let’s find out.
About the Melbourne Football Club
|Home ground:||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
|Premierships:||12 – 1900, 1926, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1948, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1964|
|2020 ladder finish:||9th (9-8)|
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Updated Melbourne futures odds
Betting on futures markets surround the Melbourne Demons is easy, with all of the best Australian online betting sites boasting extensive AFL prices. We recommend always checking Demons odds on markets with multiple bookies, so you always get the best AFL odds.
|2021 Premiership||Make Top 4||Brownlow Odds||Rising Star Odds||Coleman Odds|
|Mar||$26||$9||C Petracca $7||L Jackson $26||T McDonald $41|
|Apr||$10||$2.40||C Petracca $6||J Jordon $11||T McDonald $41|
|May||$5.50||$1.60||C Petracca $5||L Jackson $13||B Fritsch $31|
|Jun||$4.50||$1.20||C Oliver $5.50||L Jackson $7||B Fritsch $|
|Jul||$5||$1.08||C Oliver $5||L Jackson $4||B Fritch $41|
|Aug||$5.50||$1.04||C Oliver $7||L Jackson $3.50||–|
Best Melbourne bets for the 2021 AFL season
There are dozens of AFL futures markets for Melbourne, but where are they likely to return some real value?
Click on the tabs below to get more analysis on these markets:
- The Dees improved in 2020 after a horror slide the year before. Their best is very good, but can they show it often enough to compete with the big boys? The $26 quote will tempt more than a few punters, to be sure.
- The Demons just missed the top eight in 2020, and there is a feeling that they will improve again in 2021. This squad has buckets of talent, so a run to the top four is not out of the question if everything clicks.
- Christian Petracca ran third in the 2020 Brownlow Medal after a breakout year, so he is sure to be well supported in the market for 2021. Max Gawn often polls well, while Clayton Oliver is sure to accumulate plenty of votes. Do the Dees have too many contenders to actually win it?
- Luke Jackson played only six games last year, so the young ruckman remains a live chance in the 2021 Rising Star betting. Also keep an eye on James Jordon and Trent Rivers.
Demons players to watch in 2021
Prior to the 2020 season, we talked about Christian Petracca as a talented but frustrating half-forward who might be running out of chances. A year on, he is one of the league’s most damaging midfielders and a big reason why Melbourne look poised to climb the ladder in 2021.
Steven May was another who needed to deliver the goods in 2020, and he duly obliged. The former Gold Coast star was a rock at the back for the Dees, and his defensive partnership with Jake Lever is shaping up to be one of the best in the competition.
No.3 draft pick Luke Jackson was billed as one of the players to watch in 2020, but he only managed six games in his maiden season. The former basketballer’s athleticism and sporting nous were there for all to see, however, and he will only improve with more opportunities this year.
Melbourne records, stats and history
- Most matches: 306 – David Neitz (1993-2008)
Most career goals: 631 – David Neitz
Most goals in a season: 97 – Fred Fanning (1947)
Most goals in a match: 18 – Fred Fanning (vs. St Kilda, 1947)
Best and fairest awards: Four – Allan La Fontaine (1935, 1936, 1941-42) and Jim Stynes (1991, 1995-97)
- Most wins in a season: 16 (1958 and 1990)
Most consecutive wins: 19 (1955-56)
Highest score in a match: 28.14.182 (vs. North Melbourne, 1986 and 1991)
Highest winning margin: 141 (vs. Hawthorn, 1926)
Highest home attendance: 99,256 (vs. Collingwood, 1958)
- Without the Melbourne Football Club, there is no Australian rules football.
The team’s origins can be traced back to 1858, when a group led by Victoria’s cricket captain, Tom Wills, published a letter calling for the codification of a new sport to keep players fit during the winter months. Meetings held at Parade Hotel the following May spawned ‘The Rules of the Melbourne Football Club’ – and so both MFC and Aussie rules were born.
While the Redlegs were the driving force behind footy’s early development, on-field success was scarce. They failed to win a VFA Premiership despite reaching the grand final four times and managed only a single VFL flag (1900) before the outbreak of World War I.
It was not until World War II that Melbourne became a true powerhouse of the competition. Frank ‘Checker’ Hughes coached the team to four premierships between 1933 and 1948, including three on the bounce from ’39 to ’41. Hughes is also widely credited with rebranding the club as the Demons.
The following two decades were even more glorious. Four-time premiership star Norm Smith was installed as coach in 1952 and Ron Barassi made his debut a year later. That pairing would lead Melbourne to six flags, including an astonishing run of five in six years from 1955 to 1960.
Everything changed in 1964. Shortly after helping the Dees to their 12th VFL title, Barassi left to take over as captain-coach at Carlton. Frictions between Smith and the Melbourne board – much of which had to do with Barassi’s departure – led to the superstar coach’s sensational axing during the ’65 season.
The club has never been the same since. Although Smith returned and coached another two seasons, the damage was done and the glory days were over. Melbourne went 23 years without playing finals and have reached the big dance only twice since ’64, losing to mighty Hawthorn in 1988 and to the all-conquering Essendon side of 2000.
Events of the past two decades will give MFC supporters hope that sunny days are just around the corner. Since the Brisbane Lions broke their duck in 2001, the Sydney Swans, Geelong, Western Bulldogs and Richmond have all snapped lengthy premiership droughts. Can Simon Goodwin lift the Curse of the Red Fox once and for all?