MELBOURNE will back the same two-week preparation that led to a dominant preliminary final win to again deliver as it navigates a second week off in the space of three weeks leading into the Toyota AFL Grand Final.
The Demons launched the Grand Final fortnight with a light training session at HBF Arena in Joondalup on Monday and will play an internal match on Saturday afternoon as part of their build-up to the historic season decider at Optus Stadium.
Half-forward Alex Neal-Bullen believed the two-week preparation for the 83-point win against Geelong had freshened the team both physically and mentally and backed the Demons to again stay on track through a lengthy build-up.
"We're very lucky that we had the experience two weeks ago where we were in this exact position and we're putting our trust in the experts," Neal-Bullen said.
"(Performance manager) Darren Burgess is going to put in a program that we trust, and this is our day one of building towards Saturday in two weeks' time.
"We've got a massive hit-out on Saturday that we're looking forward to that we'll prepare for like a game, and hopefully get a lot out of.
"I'm that confident in the group we have here that we'll perform at the level again if we do everything right over the next 14 days."
Melbourne is out of quarantine and enjoying life in Perth, where the club has been based for 16 days.
They trained lightly at their Joondalup base on Monday, with key defender Steven May joining teammates for some running and kicking drills before leaving the track.
He appeared untroubled by the tight hamstring that saw him substituted in the third quarter of the Demons' big win against the Cats.
Neal-Bullen was confident the gun defender, who declared on Saturday he was "no chance" of missing the Grand Final, was on track to take his place against the Bulldogs.
"When I first saw him, the emotion on his face said a lot about how he was feeling and he was that happy, so I knew straight away that it wasn't anything serious, just a bit of tightness in his hammy," Neal-Bullen said.
Western Australia's open border with South Australia has given Neal-Bullen's family the chance to fly in for the Grand Final, arriving on Friday.
The 25-year-old said the support would help keep him relaxed over the two-week build-up, having recently seen them after the qualifying final win against Brisbane at Adelaide Oval.
"I got to see them from two metres away with masks on though, so I didn't get to see their smiles or anything," he said.
"Right now, it's a nice feeling. Us footballers, we're human. We have emotions and at times you can feel really good but at times you can also feel a bit down.
"So to have the family support for everyone, it does mean a lot."