For those not overly familiar with the Melbourne Demons, James McDonald probably isn't a name that immediately springs to mind when it comes to former captains of the club.
However, for the die-hard Demon fans, he will forever be fondly remembered as somebody who had red and blue blood pumping through his veins.
Tough, resilient and understated, the former Waubra boy played 251 games for Melbourne between 1997 and 2010, filling the skipper role in his final two seasons.
Forced into retirement by the club, he returned in 2012 to spend one year playing with the newly-established GWS Giants. But it is the Melbourne Football Club where his allegiance will always lie.
Listen to the interview here.
From his property near Dunkeld, McDonald this week reminisced with The Courier about his time at the Demons as they head into their first grand final since 2000.
McDonald cruelly missed that match due to a knee injury but was a part of a number of moderately successful Melbourne sides in the early 2000s that regularly featured in finals.
It is now, however, that he believes the club finally has what it takes to end a 57-year premiership drought; the longest current drought in the AFL.
"It's probably the most stable the club's been and when you're stable off-field, the on-field generally follows suit," he said.
"People think it's all just happened in 12 months but it hasn't, it probably started when (Paul) Roos and Peter Jackson were there about eight years ago."
In his discussion with The Courier, McDonald recalls current club captain Max Gawn's first year at the club, describing him as someone who always had an air of confidence in his ability.
He also describes the incredible character of newly-retired club legend Nathan Jones, who recently made the painstaking decision to fly home from Perth to witness the birth of his twins.
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