Melbourne key defender Tom McDonald sees green shoots in the Demons’ AFL pre-season and wants to stick around to be a part of it.
In a marked departure from pre-seasons past, the Demons beat Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs and on Sunday, St Kilda, joining only Fremantle and Collingwood with 100 per cent records in the NAB Challenge.
For the first time since McDonald’s debut in 2011 – pre-season or regular season – Melbourne are on a roll.
“I haven’t won two games in a row, let alone three, even if it is the NAB Cup it’s still exciting to win,” he said.
“It gives us momentum going forward … winning three games in a row is something that might give some guys, especially younger guys, a bit of confidence that we can do it.
“It doesn’t mean we go back to losing going on-off again like we have again in the past.”
The Demons’ opening two AFL regular-season matches, against GWS Giants and Essendon at the MCG, give hope that they’ll win back-to-back matches when it matters for the first time in 91 games.
It’s a reason McDonald says he’s keen to extend his stay at Melbourne.
While key forward Jesse Hogan has put off his own contract extension talks, McDonald rubbished a News Corp report he had done the same.
“We’ve been having open chats with the club, contract talks aren’t on hold like the newspaper said,” he said.
“It’ll happen … (it’s) just happening in the background. I’ve got footy to play.
“I can’t honestly say that it’s always looked really bright (at the club).
“I see a really positive outlook for the club which I haven’t seen in the five or six years that I’ve been here.
“We’ve got some really good talent here and a good group of core young players to take us forward.”
The Demons’ brightest talent, Hogan, had more clangers than goals in their 24-point win over St Kilda on Sunday.
The 21-year-old’s stutter-step at set shots seemed to contribute to a number of misses but McDonald said the “weird” run-up didn’t bother him.
“It’s not the most natural looking of kicks but I don’t see him miss many at training,” he said.
“If you can kick two goals two and still have an impact it’s still a pretty good day.”