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Dees coach goes extra mile to connect with his players

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MELBOURNE coach Simon Goodwin has gone the extra mile to connect with his players, attending the AFL/AFLPA Indigenous All Stars Summit in Adelaide.

Goodwin arrived on Monday night, joining players for dinner and taking part in a couple of indigenous dances.

He was then the only AFL senior coach that travelled with the group on Tuesday to Point Pearce, about 200km north-west of Adelaide in the Yorke Peninsula, where players took part in cultural activities, including traditional cooking and spear fishing.

"It's just a great opportunity to come away, support our boys and just get a greater understanding and continue to learn about the indigenous culture," Goodwin told AFL.com.au on Tuesday.

"It's something we've spent a lot of time as a club to continue to build that learning and awareness and we're quite passionate about it.

"I think the AFL are doing some terrific work, the boys getting together brings that to the surface.

"To get in there for the dinner last night and joining them for a couple of dances, that was a bit of fun.

"It's a really good camp to be a part of."

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The Demons have a strong indigenous presence, including defender Neville Jetta, recruit Steven May and small forward Jeff Garlett.

Garlett said having Goodwin at the summit resonated with not just the Demons' players, but those from other clubs.

"The investment he's showing to us means a lot," Garlett told AFL.com.au.

"To get the coach to understand our background and to learn it as well, hopefully it drives a strong message for the other coaches to come on board in the future.

"Him being here has been awesome."

Goodwin is entering his third season in charge of the Demons and took the club to a preliminary final last year.

He said gaining a better grasp of his players and what was important to them helped with his coaching.

"I think it's important for every coach to get a really good understanding of your players and where they come from and what they believe in," Goodwin said.

"It only helps your coaching because everyone is different.

"The better understanding I, as a coach, have of my players, no matter who they are, is beneficial to the way I go about coaching them."

Goodwin will return to Melbourne on Wednesday to prepare for his club's trial game against Collingwood on Friday.

The AFL/AFLPA Indigenous All Stars Summit is held every second year and concludes on Wednesday.