The coach praised his leaders for their response, singling out Jack Viney for a special mention after he put in a best-on-ground performance in his first game as captain for the season, in the absence of Max Gawn.
“He has been brutal around the contest all year, and he’s been in fantastic form all year, and I think tonight, when the spotlight was on our footy club and he was skippering for the first time for the year, he stood up massively for our club,” Goodwin said.
May returned from suspension after he was involved in an altercation with teammate Jake Melksham outside a Prahran restaurant three weeks ago, and his influence on the team’s performance was obvious.
The coach said it was clear May helped fellow defenders Jake Lever and Harrison Petty perform their roles, with the incident a lesson for the veteran.
“We know what Steven delivers on-field. He is an outstanding player, and he is an outstanding leader and he plays the right way. He is very passionate about this footy club,” Goodwin said.
“We haven’t learned anything different about Steven, but we continue to evolve Steven as a person and he has come a long way in the last three or four years…he’s made a mistake, he’s owned up to it, and he put the things in place that he needs to but, first and foremost, we need him playing his best footy.”
Disappointed Lions coach Chris Fagan said he hoped his midfield would be stung into a better showing next week after they were thrashed in the contest.
He said the uncharacteristic performance was hard to explain and they were lucky the margin was not bigger in the end.
“That’s as bad as we have played in a long, long time,” Fagan said.
Midfielder Jarryd Lyons will have a scan to determine the extent of rib damage caused when he copped a knee to chest from Melbourne’s Bayley Fritsch, with the coach suggesting it was cartilage damage rather than broken ribs.
Fagan was hopeful a shoulder issue for Harris Andrews was ‘a stinger’ and was certain captain Dayne Zorko would return alongside Zac Bailey, who missed the match with COVID-19.
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