Demon tapes may explain tactics

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 11 Januari 2013 | 14.43

SuperFooty analyse the match at the heart of Melbourne tanking allegations.

Dean Bailey's legal team is hopeful the audio tapes have not been destroyed and may help explain the motives behind the Dees' 2009 campaign. Picture: George Salpigtidis Source: Herald Sun

AUDIO recordings of Melbourne's coaching box during Dean Bailey's tenure could unlock the answer to whether the club tanked in 2009.

It is understood the club taped the box on game day as part of its coaching program.

But mystery surrounds the status of the recordings and whether they formed part of the AFL's 1000-page tanking report.

The AFL was unavailable yesterday to confirm if it had sought or obtained the tapes as part of its tanking investigation.

It is believed Bailey's legal team remains hopeful the audio has not been destroyed and it is trying to track down the necessary files.

The recordings could help explain the motives behind the club's 2009 campaign and provide context to the series of unusual tactical moves made by Melbourne during several losses being put under the AFL microscope.

They include decisions to move regular defenders Matthew Warnock (to full-forward) and James Frawley (centre half-forward) at the start of the last quarter of their controversial Round 18 loss to Richmond.

Regular forwards Brad Miller and Matthew Bate lined up in the centre square. Miller (194cm) stood beside young Tiger midfielder Trent Cotchin (185cm) at the bounce.

The tapes could provide some of the only hard evidence in the tanking case, aside from the statements provided to AFL investigators Abraham Haddad and Brett Clothier during their five-month probe.

It is understood the AFL has grilled about 20 current and former Melbourne staff and employees, some as many as three times.

A source close to Melbourne said the Demons taped its coaches box during games, but was unsure if all of the matches in Bailey's tenure were recorded.

"The coaching group would sometimes listen back to them throughout the week, just to review what was said during the games," the source said.

"So whatever was said in the coaches box was recorded. It was all there.

"But whether the audio is still around, who knows?"

AFL clubs are known to record their coaches box during games.

The source said Bailey's instructions and other coaches' directives were also noted on paper throughout his coaching stint.

The AFL's probe has also centred on Melbourne's losses against Sydney, Carlton and St Kilda.

The club has to respond to the AFL's tanking findings by January 29.

Melbourne won four games in 2009, ensuring it secured the first two picks of the national draft to claim gun midfielders Tom Scully and Jack Trengove.

Bailey and Melbourne, including CEO Cameron Schwab and ex-football manager Chris Connolly, are intent on defending the tanking allegations.

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