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Goodwin urges Dees fans to venture west

Goodwin: 'Exceptional' response after half-time Simon Goodwin says they 'start again' as they head to Perth for the Prelim

A EUPHORIC Simon Goodwin has repeated Melbourne's want to embrace long-suffering supporters' joy at the club marching into its first preliminary final in 18 years.

The Demons booked a date with West Coast in Perth with a 16.8 (104) to 10.11 (71) triumph at the MCG on Friday night over a Hawthorn side that inflicted considerable misery on them in the past decade.

DEMONS' DREAM CONTINUES Full match coverage and stats

It was just the second time they defeated the Hawks in the clubs' past 17 meetings.

Melbourne will now face the Eagles on Saturday week with a Grand Final spot on the line, knowing it has beaten Adam Simpson's team there twice in a row, including only a month ago. 

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"I certainly think we're in the midst of our supporters really getting in behind our footy team in giving us great belief and inspiring us to new heights," Goodwin told reporters.

"To have 90,000 here again tonight between the two clubs (was great). I think it's the biggest crowd ever, including Grand Finals. 

"But you can just see the MCC, you can see the joy our supporters are getting from this journey, and they do – they inspire us. They're like another player out there. 

"We want to get them all over to Perth, if we can. From what I hear, it's a 50-50 ticket split, so, Virgin, put some flights on and enable our supporters to get over there."

Melbourne-based Demons fans will have to stump up the cash if they want to venture over to Optus Stadium, with economy flights to Perth already costing between $1400 and $2000. 

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Hawthorn threatened to spoil the Demons' September momentum with an inspired start to the match and probably should have led at half-time.

Melbourne eventually wrestled back control in contested possessions and clearances, but still had to withstand a furious Hawks fightback that got them within 12 points in the last quarter. 

The likes of co-captain Jack Viney, strong-marking forward Tom McDonald and young gun Christian Petracca – in what Goodwin hailed as his best game for the club – stepped up in a big way. 

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Michael Hibberd was another strong performer down back, Neville Jetta kept Luke Breust goalless, and All Australian Clayton Oliver had an influence despite Liam Shiels' close attention.

Viney (27 disposals, 17 contested possessions, eight clearances, seven inside 50s, five tackles) was playing just his second game since round 16 after recovering from his latest toe-related setback.

"He's been incredible, but I said this last week and I'll say it again – he had a five-week preparation heading into this finals series," Goodwin said.

"We probably could have brought him back a touch earlier if we wanted to, but we really held him back and his game tonight was outstanding."

WATCH Simon Goodwin's full post-match media conference 

The Demons' four-match winning streak – all over top-eight teams – started against West Coast in Perth in round 22, but Goodwin pointed out that key members from both teams missed that game.

"They're a team we're familiar with, but it's a new game. We're up against a really strong footy club," he said.

"They've got some experienced players that are back in the team that didn't play that day, as we have, so it's going to be a different-looking game, but one we're really looking forward to. 

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"That experience will certainly be beneficial, but it won't make the difference. This is a new game of footy and one we're going to have to be right at our best to be successful in." 

Angus Brayshaw, who suffered his fourth concussion in 12 months in May last year, left the ground early in the final term after a knock to the head, but returned and played the match out.

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