EDENHOPE'S Oscar McDonald is hoping the Melbourne Demons' winning start to life in an AFL hub can continue.
McDonald made a long-awaited return to the senior side last Saturday night, slotting in seamlessly as the Demons snapped a two-game losing streak against Gold Coast.
The tall-defender said winning was pivotal to maintaining a positive atmosphere around the club.
The Demons are currently living in Manly, New South Wales, after every Victorian team was sent into interstate "hubs" to escape Melbourne's COVID-19-forced lockdown.
"It was really good to get a win because I think once you get on a roll in the hub, the positive environment will keep compounding," McDonald said.
"But if you start off with a loss, it is sort of hard to get back into form.
"It's hard to get away from (footy) up here. You go to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and you're seeing your teammates around you.
"We've spoken a lot about having purpose off the field up here - getting to know other players and their families a bit more.
"It comes back to that connection. There's more to life than just footy, and if it's going to be a miserable time in the hub, I don't think our performance will be that great either.
"It's been really interactive and enjoyable so far. I think if we keep winning, hopefully it can stay that way."
The Demons could soon be relocating to Queensland after round seven, but regardless of the geographical turmoil, McDonald said he was focussed on his football.
With no VFL competition to stake his claim for selection, McDonald was forced to focus on impressing at training and in the club's 12 against 12 scratch matches.
On Saturday, he seized his AFL chance with both hands, performing tremendously in the Dees' back six alongside fellow tall defenders Steven May and Jake Lever.
McDonald spent the night switching between big-man Sam Day and lively small-forward Ben Ainsworth - two players with 19 centimetres and 26 kilograms of difference between them - and kept the duo to just one goal.
"I think that's how footy works these days," McDonald said. "It's not like the big full-forward against a big full back and they don't leave each other's side all game. It's a bit more dynamic.
"I really enjoyed the role I played this week and hopefully it will continue."
When McDonald spoke to the Mail-Times he was unsure if he would line up against Hawthorn on Sunday, particularly as the Hawks' two key forwards Jonathon Patton and Mitch Lewis were under injury clouds.
But with coach Simon Goodwin describing McDonald's performance last weekend as "outstanding", one would presume the young Dee would be firmly within consideration, as his side attempts to reascend the AFL ladder.
"I don't have any explicit goals for the season. You have to be pretty flexible, particularly at the moment," McDonald said.
"But I've trained really well and played really well, so it's about just keeping that mindset, that my best footy is in the best 22, and I can be a contributing player.
"And as a team, we believe that our footy is good enough to beat anyone in the competition."
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