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High-tech Demons get connected at training

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The ease of transferring information is so much better and the feedback is much more instantaneous
Paul Roos

MELBOURNE has taken its footy communication to another level with the club's coaching staff using portable headsets to relay information to each other at training this pre-season. 

The Dees' coaches introduced the initiative during the club's training camp on the Sunshine Coast in January and have been using the radios in the lead up to the NAB Challenge. 

Coach Paul Roos said he first used the practice during his time at the Sydney Swans and decided it could be put to good use in his final season in the top job at the Demons. 

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"The real-time coaching is really important and then it's the ability to transfer that information really quickly to the players," Roos told AFL.com.au.

"We've found it to be really positive and valuable. No doubt it improves communication."

Up to five of the coaches are wired up during a training session with each having an area of the ground they are responsible for. 

Ben Matthews is in charge of watching the structure at stoppages, Jade Rawlings watches for defensive positioning and senior assistant Simon Goodwin observes ball movement patterns. 

Roos' role is to supervise the whole of training and relay little snippets, via the headsets, to each of the line coaches if he spots something that needs to be addressed.

"The ease of transferring information is so much better and the feedback is much more instantaneous," Roos said.

"Simon (Goodwin) is taking training but having myself overseeing it and giving him information to give to all the coaches means they can focus on specific areas of the ground."

Roos said the coaches could speak clearly and concisely to each other into the microphones, rather than having to yell 100m down the ground. 

Sensitive information, relating to the gameplan, can also be spoken about freely if opposition scouts are in attendance at training. 

The Demons also trialled a drone at training last week to gain a different perspective, as well as providing their players with extra footage. 

Implementing different technologies are part of Melbourne's improved football department structure. 

"You're always trying to educate your players and any sort of information you can gather is significant," Roos said.

Melbourne opens its NAB Challenge campaign against Port Adelaide in Adelaide on February 27.