Jack Viney celebrates a goal with teammates Caleb Windsor and Bayley Fritsch during the match between Port Adelaide and Melbourne at Adelaide Oval in round three, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

THE AFL's drugs furore again enveloping Melbourne is being used as a galvanising on-field force, coach Simon Goodwin says.

Goodwin's Demons capped another controversial week with a stirring seven-point away victory against Port Adelaide on Saturday night.

Overturning a four-point deficit at three-quarter time, Melbourne kicked five goals to Port's three in the final term in a win Goodwin hailed as "special".

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"When the game was there to be won, our group really stepped up," he said.

"And you have got to love the grit and the fight about the boys. They are the sort of wins, when you're on the road, that you love.

"Against a really high quality opponent, to come away with a victory like that, that is what builds your season."


Goodwin and Melbourne were named in federal parliament on Tuesday night in a speech by MP Andrew Wilkie detailing alleged illicit drug use at the club.

Goodwin and club hierarchy have previously denied the allegations but Wilkie's speech fuelled hot debate of the AFL's illicit drugs policy.

The MP based his speech on documents from Zeeshan Arain, who was Melbourne's club doctor for eight years until an acrimonious departure in October 2020.

Goodwin brushed off the furore.

"That has been going on for three or four years," he said.

"One thing I know about this group is they are determined to play great footy.

"We are just galvanised. We get to work, we work hard and we put on a really high performance.

"So I am proud of the group, the way they are going about their business."


Goodwin said the controversy had not taken a personal toll.

"I focus on being the best head coach I can be. I focus on being a good father, good person. And that's all I do," he said.

Goodwin and his players will remain in the South Australian capital ahead of playing against the Crows in the opening fixture of Gather Round on Thursday night at Adelaide Oval.

Key defender Steven May, who missed the win over Port, is a chance to return from a rib injury.

"He's trending in the right direction, he's moving really well," Goodwin said.

"Once again, there's still a bit to work through in the next five days but we're confident that he'll be available."


Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley described the game as having "finals-like intensity".

Port led by five points at quarter-time and scores were locked 7.3 apiece at half-time, before Port crept ahead by four points at the last change.

Score were still level midway through the final term before Demons forward Ben Brown booted his third major with seven minutes remaining, then Bayley Fritsch iced the win with a set-shot five minutes later.

"Melbourne were well and truly good enough to convert their opportunities," Hinkley said.

"We did a lot of things right and we didn't win the game - they (Melbourne) were able to execute when the moments got big."


The loss was Port Adelaide's first of the season after wins over West Coast and Richmond to start the season.

The Power play Essendon at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night in Gather Round.