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Melbourne skipper Max Gawn has backed the AFL club's culture despite off-season controversies surrounding Clayton Oliver and Joel Smith.
Melbourne captain Max Gawn is keeping a close eye on troubled teammate Clayton Oliver and has defended the AFL club's culture in the face of off-season turmoil.
Oliver's professionalism has been repeatedly questioned this year and there were doubts over his future at the Demons, who ultimately opted against trading the contracted midfielder.
The 26-year-old has been the subject of concerning reports around his behaviour and had a short stint in hospital this month following a seizure.
"I'm in pretty good dialogue with him and we talk every day and he's been (staying) at my house for a while, so I think Clayton is going really well," Gawn told the Seven Network.
"I understand the noise that is coming about Clayton could really bring someone down, but I feel like the support that he's got around him will help him get through it."
The Demons' off-field woes worsened in recent days when Joel Smith was provisionally suspended as the result of a positive drug test.
The 27-year-old faces a lengthy ban.
"There has been some stuff over the last few weeks but I feel like this happens at most clubs," Gawn said.
"There's adversity here, adversity there. Obviously our adversity has all come at once."
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin delivered a pointed message to his players about professional standards at the club's best-and-fairest event this month.
Goodwin also backed the club's culture, and Gawn echoed his 2021 premiership coach's thoughts.
"I'm certainly very bullish on the culture we've built over the last three or four years, that it can withstand adversity like this, and we're able to get in the top four again like we have in the last three years," Gawn said.