MELBOURNE defender Michael Hibberd is confident an "unbelievable" pre-season can help lift the Demons back up the ladder after last year's horror show.
The club's premiership hopes plummeted in 2019, going from preliminary finalists in 2018 to finishing second-last on the ladder last season.
The Demons endured a difficult run with injury over the summer but managed only five wins in a significant crash after the breakthrough finals victories of 2018.
But the 30-year-old former Bomber, speaking at the club's training camp in Maroochydore, was confident that the work the Demons have put in will result in a rapid turnaround.
"I think we've had an unbelievable pre-season. Injuries are what you look at this time of the year and we don't have too many in [the] rehab [group]," he said on Sunday.
"We've got a lot of the guys out on the track and they're hitting their numbers in times and time trials and skinfolds and all of that kind of stuff.
"I think we've had a really positive pre-season, but we're heading into games now and we just need to keep on building."
The Demons had an injury scare on Friday when star big man Max Gawn went down with a medial ligament injury in his knee, but the club is expecting him to be available for the start of the season.
He will miss at least a month as he recovers from the setback, but Hibberd was optimistic Gawn will be out there when the Demons take on West Coast at Optus Stadium in the opening round.
"From all reports he's pressing for round one and we know how important he is for us and our team. We're hoping for a quick recovery for Max and we can get him back sooner rather than later," he said.
The Demons, who play two games in Queensland this year, have been in Maroochydore for nearly a week in what the club says is an important camp to set up its campaign.
"It is a week to hang out together, get to know each other a bit better and we'll have a bit of fun while we're up here, but most of the time it is just hard work and sweating it all out in the heat," he said.