PROUD Melbourne coach Paul Roos hopes the belief his team gains from its 29-point upset of heavyweight Hawthorn will help drive the Demons to "special things".
After stunning the triple-reigning premier with the last five goals at the MCG on Saturday to claim the biggest scalp of his Melbourne tenure, the Demons coach challenged his players to continue to build momentum for the rest of the season and into next pre-season.
Melbourne is now 9-10 and faces very winnable clashes with Port Adelaide (at Adelaide Oval) and Carlton (MCG), followed by a final-round encounter with Geelong (Simonds Stadium).
"I said to them after the game (that) it's got to drive the players for the next three weeks, but more importantly in the off-season and going into next year," Roos told reporters post-match.
"They're the wins that you can build special things off.
"Clearly, it's not going to happen this year, because we’re not going to play finals, but … the bond that they create (in) a young group with 10 players under 50 games ...
"It's no guarantee, obviously, but it's certainly really important going into the off-season. It drives them to get back in November. Hopefully they remember the feeling of walking off the MCG and beating a very, very good team …
"A lot of this is learning and the penny starting to drop.
"Hopefully … it has a huge bearing on where our footy club goes."
Roos knows it's a cliché but he couldn't overstate the importance of his team producing four solid quarters, having fallen at the final hurdle against Hawthorn in round 11, Adelaide at the MCG in round 15 and West Coast in Perth last week.
"That was really the difference today – we played a four-quarter game, got in front, they came back, got in front, and obviously the last 15 minutes was great footy and probably the best footy we’ve played all year," he said.
"You have to do that to beat outstanding opposition.
"(It was a) great day for the football club and great for a young group of players that are hopefully going to build something special together."
Roos praised as "fantastic" the efforts of leaders Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince, Tom McDonald, Max Gawn and Jack Viney – and was also proud with the performances of young players such as Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw.
He was also pleased with the debut of teenage key forward Sam Weideman, who kicked two first-half goals.
"The first mark he took set the scene for his day – a courageous mark – and that's what we've seen him do in (the) VFL, and that's what the Melbourne players saw today," Roos said.
"His ability to get to a high ball, his ability to compete. He ran out of steam late in the game obviously, but it was a good debut against high-quality opposition."
Fellow young gun forward Jesse Hogan was a late withdrawal with a knee injury, but Roos said the spearhead should be available for the clash with the Power.