Former North Ballarat Rebel and Edenhope-Apsley local Tom McDonald has been awarded life membership at Melbourne.
After 170 gams for the Demons and 109 goals across his 10 seasons to date, the 28-year-old joined the illusive club.
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Club captain Max Gawn, Charles Forrester and James Byrne also received the honour.
McDonald was taken with pick 53 in the 2010 draft and made his debut in 2011.
He told Melbourne Media he's proud of the achievement and his body of work.
"I'm proud of myself to stick around for as long as I have and hopefully for a bit longer," he said.
"I like to think I outplayed the draft pick and outdid what was probably the expectation, but I always had belief that I could do it and be here for a long time."
He added that he's had tough moments throughout his time at the Demons but it's all been worth it.
"I've probably had more downs than ups, but that's part of it," he said.
"It's meant to be hard - it's not meant to be easy. It wouldn't make it as fun as it is when you do win if it was just a given."
At 194cm, the key position player has been a fix it man for Melbourne.
He started off his career as a defender but moved forward and was a key reason for the Demons 2018 preliminary final run. He kicked 53 goals from his 20 games.
A knee injury derailed his 2019 season, only managing 18 goals from his 15 games, while 2020 only saw him run out nine times for the Demons.
With injuries to star forward recruit Ben Brown and youngster Sam Weideman however, McDonald looms as a vital cog to Melbourne's side come round one.
The Demons face the Western Bulldogs in its AFL Community Series game at Marvel Stadium on Monday March 8, kicking off at 3:10pm
It will then battle Fremantle in round one at the MCG on Saturday March 20, the first bounce scheduled for 1:45pm.
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