Are Dees the Hawthorn of 2008?
MELBOURNE veteran Jordan Lewis says a lack of finals experience did not hold Hawthorn back in 2008 and will not stand in the way of the Demons this year as they seek September success.
The Hawks won what many believed was a premiership before their time in 2008, with only four members of their Grand Final team having featured in more than two finals before that year and the side having an average age of 24 years and 218 days.
Melbourne has just four players with any finals experience in Jordan Lewis, Nathan Jones, Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham and its Round 23 team had an average age of 24 years and 256 days.
However, Lewis - who played in that 2008 premiership for Hawthorn - said age and experience played only a small part and his side was ready to dispel those concerns against Geelong in its elimination final on Friday night.
"I suppose the only similarity I can draw on is the inexperience of the playing group and that didn't hold us back in 2008 and I don't see why it should hold us back this time of the year," Lewis said.
"We went into the break with some really good form, we've played Geelong twice this year and we've come up short but learnt along the way.
"I think experience is good in finals. I don't think it's a necessity because at the end of the day we've played 23 rounds to get ourselves in a really good position like we have and nothing for me really changes. The intensity goes up but that's the way we've played our last two games so we can follow on from that I think we'll be in a really good position."
The Demons enter their first finals campaign since 2006 on the back of win over fellow top-eight sides Greater Western Sydney and West Coast.
Lewis said that form showed the young Demons' group was ready for the challenge and the expected return of co-captain Jack Viney from a foot injury would prove a further "jolt of confidence".
"If he plays, and he plays around the ball, you know exactly what you're going to get," Lewis said of Viney, who has been sidelined since Round 16.
"Jack hasn't played a lot of football this year but he certainly comes in and he's got that experience as an in-and-under player and that's what finals is sort of built around so to have him in, if he comes in, would be a really jolt of confidence."