Luke Jackson in action against Richmond in round six on April 24, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE premiership trio Kysaiah Pickett, Luke Jackson and Tom Sparrow, as well as coach Simon Goodwin, will miss Saturday's clash with Hawthorn after entering the AFL's health and safety protocols.

Pickett, Jackson and Sparrow, in addition to premiership coach Goodwin, all tested positive to COVID-19 this week and will subsequently miss the side's quest to win a 14th straight game this weekend.

Adem Yze, once a 271-game player for Melbourne, will take the reins in the coaches' box in place of Goodwin and will become the fifth assistant to take charge of his side on an interim basis so far this year.


Yze had previously spent six seasons as an assistant with the Hawks between 2014 and 2020, working under premiership coach Alastair Clarkson before heading back to his former side in 2021.

"(Goodwin's) in good spirits, he's just tested positive (on Wednesday)," Yze said.

"We've had a couple of discussions already this morning to make sure that the program stays the same.

"It won't be just myself, obviously everyone's got to step up with our senior coach out of our program.

Melbourne assistant coach Adem Yze. Picture: AFL Photos

"We'll have different staff members doing different roles and I'll just be the face of it for this week so I feel comfortable in doing it.

"It's not any more significant than we just need to get out there and play well and win a game of footy.

"It's just ironic it's against the Hawks.

"We've got a plan in place and that will evolve over the next couple of days.

"I'll coach from the box on game day but then leading into the game I'll still be a midfield coach."

Yze will become the fifth assistant to take charge of his team in place of a COVID-stricken coach this season, following in the footsteps of Ash Hansen (Carlton), Jaymie Graham (Fremantle), Blake Caracella (Essendon) and Brendon Lade (St Kilda).

Adam Yze at Melbourne training on February 2, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Assistant coaches are currently 5-0 in their interim roles, with three of the five to now coach in games featuring their former sides. Hansen coached against the Western Bulldogs, Graham against West Coast and Yze against Hawthorn.

Melbourne has started the season with a 6-0 record and is on a 13-match winning streak.

Premiership stars Jake Lever and Jack Viney will return against the Hawks after sitting out the win over Richmond last Sunday night due to the AFL's health and safety protocols.

Veteran defender Michael Hibberd has struggled with a calf issue all season but will make his comeback through the VFL this weekend.

Michael Hibberd and Majak Daw during a Melbourne training session at Casey Fields on February 9, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"Kicking 22 points last week is a reason to know we're not playing our best footy," Yze said.

"We want to win each week, but we want to play our brand each week as well and we haven't done that on a consistent basis at all this year.

"There's been games where we've been below par so each week we go out with a plan to beat the opposition but we also go with a plan to play our way."