Back at the end of 2004 the Hawks changed coaches. Clarko came in and started cutting the list immediately. It was only 4 years later that they won a flag.
In 2005 Clarko steered the Hawks to a 5-17 record, and finished 14th on the ladder. Whilst the Dees might be dreaming about 5 wins (let alone 1) this year, I reckon Neeld needs to be given some time to sort out his list and for whoever is left to work out how he wants them to play.
Of the 2005 Hawks list the following played in the Premiership of 08: Bateman, Brown, Campbell, Crawford, Croad, Franklin, Hodge, Ladson, Lewis, Mitchell, Osbourne, Roughead, Sewell, Williams and Young. 15 players out of the 22! 4 of them, Roughead, Franklin, Lewis and Young were all drafted in Clarko's first draft in 04.
The other 7 players? Ellis, Renouf, Birchall and Rioli were drafted as kids, Dew and Guerra drafted as veterans, Gilham from the rookie draft.
So does Melbourne have 15 players on their list who could be in a flag in 4 or 5 years? Absolutely.
Taking a look at players who could still be around:
In 5 years Sylvia will be 31,
Bate, Magner, Clark, Jones 29
Pettard, Couch, Bail, Frawley, Jurrah 28
Grimes and Morton 27 and in their prime
Strauss, Mckenzie, Howe, Blease, Watts 26
Gysberts, Tapscott, Trengove 25
That's 20 players who at this stage are not yet crap enough to dump entirely, add another 5 years of drafting and it looks a pretty damn good side to me! And I haven't even looked at the kids recently drafted like Cook etc.
No, not all of them will make it, and yes some of them may already have lines through them (Morton anyone), but the point is that there is a heck of a lot of potential in those names, and given time under Neeld they may yet flourish, just like the Hawks did. A couple more years of pain you can take for ultimate glory.