Melbourne star Christian Petracca could not have higher praise for teammate Tom McDonald for his form this season.
McDonald was put on the trade table at the end of last year, but no suitors emerged and he returned to Melbourne coming off two years of poor form.
He has been the centrepiece of the undefeated Dees forward line this year, booting four goals in tough conditions against Sydney on the weekend.
Petracca said the attitudes of McDonald and small forward Alex Neal-Bullen, who was also apparently put up for trade, have really impressed him this year.
“For (McDonald) it’s been unbelievable. The biggest thing I love about him is the fact that the club sort of wanted to get rid of him and the maturity piece, for him to come back … I like the fact that he sort of stuck it back up the club to be honest,” Petracca told SEN Breakfast.
“I’d be similar in that position too. If the club wanted to get rid of you, you want to come back even harder and try and improve. That’s an individual who is competitive and has a competitive nature. I think anyone would.
“Similar to Alex Neal-Bullen, the club wanted to trade him too and he’s come back in the leadership group and he’s developed as a great forward as well.
“For Tom, he just covers the ground really well. The way he’s marking the ball is back to 2018 and he’s so versatile, he can pick it off the ground, he can tackle and put pressure on.
“I thought him and Ben Brown on the weekend, even though it was wet weather, they were bringing the ball to ground and that’s what you want to do.”
Tim Watson agreed, speaking similarly of McDonald earlier in the show.
“The backdrop to the Tom McDonald thing is interesting. They tried to give him away at the end of last year,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“He had a hefty contract, no one wanted to buy in on him, he had to swallow his pride and go back knowing his team didn’t really want him and then rebuild his career and his game and he’s been able to do that. Full credit to him.
“He went back with his tail between his legs, I think that says a lot about his character.”
The 8-0 Demons host Carlton at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.