Tough midfielder Jack Viney says the opportunity to win an AFL grand final on home soil in front of family and friends will motivate Melbourne in their premiership defence next season.
The Demons ended a 57-year flag drought with an irresistible display against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night, consigning a long period spent in the doldrums to the history books.
But they did so in Perth, with Victoria's coronavirus battle seeing the grand final moved away from its traditional MCG home for the second straight season.
It meant Viney was unable to share the moment in person with wife Charlotte or father Todd - a Demons great who played 233 games for the club last century.
"Speaking to my wife, she was pretty upset that she wasn't able to be here and experience it with me," Viney said.
"I've spoken about those dark times (for the club) before and all of our families and partners were going through that with us.
"For them not to be able to experience the ecstasy of this accomplishment, they're rapt for us but at the same time a little bit sad as well.
"It's definitely motivation to run it back and do it in Victoria."
Viney was a father-son selection in 2012 and went through plenty of those "dark times" before earning his shot at grand final glory.
Melbourne won just two games in Viney's first season, and four in his second.
His first three games in the opening rounds of 2013 were defeats by 79, 148 and 94 points.
In his sixth season, in 2018, the former Demons captain's first and only finals series before this year ended in preliminary-final humiliation at the hands of West Coast.
But the 27-year-old made the most of his chance on the big stage, tallying 25 disposals and 12 clearances to help Melbourne hoist the cup with a 74-point thrashing of the Bulldogs.
"It just brings so much enjoyment to Melbourne members," Viney said.
"Fifty-seven years without a premiership is a hell of a long time and in particular the last 10 years has been really tough for the football club, with not much success, but we've come full circle and this is one hell of an achievement."
Viney played a crucial role in Melbourne's ability to fight back from a 19-point deficit during the third quarter at Optus Stadium.
The Demons were in trouble when he attacked a stoppage on the wing and forced the ball into the hands of teammate James Harmes to help set up a crucial goal to Bayley Fritsch.
It was the first of seven straight goals during a third-term blitz generated out of the midfield, which gave Melbourne the upper hand.
"We just got back to doing what we do best," Viney said.
"We understand the talent and personnel we have in the midfield and what we're capable of doing.
"We just backed ourselves in, got to work and let the rest take care of itself."
Australian Associated Press