MELBOURNE’S instability has stifled the development of its first-round draft picks, new Cat Sam Blease says.
Blease, 23, was signed by Geelong on Monday as a delisted free agent after playing just 33 games in six years at Melbourne.
He was taken at No.17 in the 2008 AFL Draft, and along with a host of other high selections, has been unable to help lift the Demons from the doldrums during his tenure.
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While admitting the players had to take responsibility for their performances, Blease told SEN the club also had a bit to answer for.
When asked whether they were developed adequately, the speedy midfielder was emphatic:
"I've had five coaches in six years. You can only imagine if your boss changes every year almost, it's hard to keep consistency," Blease said.
"I find it hard to believe that people write that (former Melbourne recruiting chief) Barry Prendergast stuffed up all the draft picks and picked the wrong players, I find that really hard to believe that 15 (or) 16 first-round draft picks could be no good.
"People forget how unstable the Melbourne Football Club has been at times and that's reflective of five or six coaches we've had.
"It's a shame it's that way, players have to take responsibility, but AFL footy's challenging at the best of times and when there's other obstacles in front of you, it makes it even more difficult.
“A lot of the players would be more mentally exhausted from their time (at Melbourne) than physically.”
Blease said the defensive side of his game had been under the most scrutiny, and believed it was something he could address at Geelong.
"Most of the time Roosy's game plan was based more around defence and I guess I lean more on the side of offence … and defence is something that hasn’t come natural to me," he said.
"It's certainly something I've been trying to work on over the journey of my AFL career.
"I just felt like anything I did I probably wasn't going to get an opportunity, I just wasn't in the plans at Melbourne.”
Geelong said it was delighted to pick up Blease.
“We see Sam as a player who can bring pace as well as a great ability in front of goal," Geelong football manager Neil Balme told the club's website.
“We hope Sam can find more consistency in his game and become a regular face in our side next year."
He was nominated as a Rising Star in the 2011 and 12 seasons, the latter being his standout campaign after he booted 19 goals from 16 games.
He played only five games in 2014 and agreed to part ways with the club at his end of season exit meeting.
Geelong has now added three players from other clubs this off-season, following the signings of another ex-Demon Mitch Clark and former Saint Rhys Stanley during the Trade Period.
Blease will kick-off his second life as a Cat when pre-season training begins later this month.