MELBOURNE coach Paul Roos has told his players he wants to send a "team of competitors" into battle each week in his last season at the helm.
Roos said more players were now ready to accept the responsibility of performing well and supporters should be able to recognise the subtle difference between being competitive and being competitors.
"We want to put out a team of competitors that, win, lose or draw, the fans go 'bloody hell, they're tenacious and they try hard'," Roos told AFL.com.au.
On the eve of his third and final season as coach before Simon Goodwin moves into the role, Roos was bullish about the club's future prospects.
"I say to a lot of people 'I know we are going to be successful'. I just can't give you a date," Roos said.
"The list is much better now than it was two-and-a-half years ago."
Seven wins told just part of Melbourne's progress last season as it embedded a football department structure that ensured the right people and resources were focused on game style, list management, player development and culture.
The Demons also made a profit and are budgeting to be in the black at the end of 2016 as well.
With those fundamental pillars in place, Roos said the challenge ahead was to develop every component of what remains a relatively young list, with 15 clubs having more games experience than Melbourne.
"We know as a football club where we are at and it's just a continual evolution of how you get to where you want to get to," Roos said.
With six top 10 picks plus Jesse Hogan and Jack Viney added to the team in the past four seasons, the young talent exists but plenty of work lies ahead.
Goodwin will oversee much of that work as he takes over as senior coach in 2017.
Roos said his combination with Goodwin was improving the players' education as they headed into 2016.
"I think my players are so much better educated than they were when I first started because we have got a hungry coach that is coming in to coach the team and, not that I would drop the ball, but there are some areas that I don't see as important but they are important and he shows them as important," Roos said.
Roos laughed as he expressed the reality of how they worked together as a group to utilise their strengths to the team's benefit.
"The new breed like Goody [Goodwin] and Ben Mathews are on the computer putting circles and crosses and I am going 'how the bloody hell do you do that?'," Roos said.
"I am the guy that uses the eyes and senses things and helps him [Goodwin] in that regard, so the balance is really good and that will continue."