MELBOURNE co-captain Nathan Jones is determined to be an integral part of the Demons in the foreseeable future as expectations rise that the club is on the verge of a successful era.
Having not being part of finals action since 2006, the 28-year-old has been starved, playing just two finals in 223 games.
During that lean era he has been club captain for four seasons and won three best and fairest awards and he intends to maintain his high standards as the promise of success beckons.
"I haven't waited out all these rough times to not be here for the good times," Jones told AFL.com.au.
"Hopefully we continue to rise as a footy club and I remain an integral part of that."
Jones knows a rise up the ladder won't just happen but he is comfortable with the level of expectation surrounding the Demons.
"[We are] making sure we continue to remain focused on the things that make us a good side and that is all we are trying to do," Jones said.
Melbourne finished 11th last season with 10 wins and begins a new era under first-time coach Simon Goodwin.
Having watched promising signs from young talent evaporate more than once in his career, Jones said the foundation for this batch's development was stronger than it had been previously.
He said the young group were learning the fundamentals that will stand them in good stead for a long career as well as having solid messages reinforced.
"With those guys it's about never really being satisfied with the position they are in and continuing to always strive to be better players, better leaders, always versatile, more rounded," Jones said.
Melbourne has had 10 top-10 NAB AFL Draft selections since 2008, third only to expansion clubs Greater Western Sydney (19 top-10 draft picks) and Gold Coast (12) while premiership clubs such as Hawthorn (0), Geelong (1) and Sydney (2) have had to find talent from other clubs to remain near the top of the ladder.