Melbourne remain an outside chance for the 2016 finals, but it’s the 2017 AFL season that the Demons are excited about.
The Demons need to win their final two games against Carlton and Geelong by decent margins if they want to hold any hope of playing finals football this season.
Even if they do claim their fourth and fifth successive victories in those games, they’ll need North Melbourne to lose heavily to Sydney and GWS for the Demons to play in the finals for the first time since 2006.
Regardless of whether they play come September, defender Tom McDonald believes the late-season form of Melbourne bodes well for next season.
“As much as it is in our control, it isn’t in our control,” he said.
“We’re waiting on other teams to lose if we want make finals.
“It’s great just to be in the conversation from where we’ve come from, and being at the bottom of the ladder for a long time, to be around the mark is a real sign of improvement I think.
“It’s something we can really look forward to and hopefully be in a stronger position going into this time of next year.”
McDonald, 23, confirmed last week he would remain at the club for another two years, citing the team’s improvement in recent times as a major reason for re-signing.
“It’s definitely a big part of it,” he said.
“You see a really good future at Melbourne.”
However he admitted both he and the club opted against signing a longer deal, making it easier to renegotiate a stronger contract in the future.
“When you’re dealing with longer contracts of 4-5 years, it’s tougher to negotiate because you’re speculating on my form, how the club is going to be looking.”
“Short-term makes it a little bit easier for the club, the player can feel a little bit more comfortable about what their worth in that time.
“It is just tough to negotiate a long-term deal.”