Simon Goodwin and Max Gawn after Melbourne's loss to Carlton in the 2023 semi-final. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE'S finals futility is embarrassing captain Max Gawn and it's something he's determined to fix.

Even setting aside the issues in the Demons' turbulent off-season, this year is massive given how badly their last two campaigns have ended.

After winning the 2021 premiership, Melbourne has lost its last four finals for two straight-sets exits - and all four have been at their MCG home.

"It's our own storyline of losing four finals in a row, is why we want to prove something," Gawn said on Monday.

"We have put ourselves in some great positions - which I love, the fact that we've put ourselves in those positions. Top four is incredibly hard to do.

"But we've sort-of been embarrassed on the final stage four times at the MCG, twice against sides that aren't from Melbourne.

"That's what we want to prove to our supporters and to those (externally), that we have improved over this last little bit. We have looked at those finals and it's something we want to get right."


A massive issue over the last few months has been the off-field struggles of star midfielder Clayton Oliver.

He showed encouraging signs last week in a hitout against Richmond, but Gawn said it was too soon to say whether Oliver will play in their March 7 season opener against Sydney.

"Clayton Oliver is day-by-day, (Opening Round) being (10) days away ... it's still too far away," Gawn said.

"He's training really well. He played a pretty-good three quarters against Richmond the other day, he'll play another four quarters this week against Carlton, I think in the VFL.

"Then we'll sit down with Clayton as a group and talk about how he's going.

"I want to set Clayton up for an unbelievable season and I want to set Clayton up for the rest of his life."