COLLINGWOOD ruckman Brodie Grundy has revealed his jealousy at watching 2012 draft peer Jake Stringer win a premiership last year as the Magpies' fortunes nosedived.
The 23-year-old, a genuine contender to make the preliminary All Australian squad, was speaking after re-signing with Collingwood until the end of 2020.
Grundy played in the Pies' elimination final loss to Port Adelaide in his debut 2013 season, but has not experienced September action since.
"(Collingwood) was this massive powerhouse, but the reality is, if we're being quite honest with ourselves – and I think we need to be – we've probably fallen off the perch," Grundy told collingwoodfc.com.au.
"It's a part of this next group of guys coming through to put us back where we belong. I'm really ambitious and eager to see where this group can go, and there is a sense of urgency about being in this business … if you're not up to the standard, you get found out pretty quickly.
"When I sit here and reflect about (my) first five years, I look at other players, guys like Jake Stringer and (him winning a) premiership is something that really drives me especially, because they're my age – I look at them and feel pretty jealous.
"I'm really keen to get that feeling for the group."
Grundy relocated from South Australia when the Magpies picked him with the No.18 selection in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, but didn't consider going home in his latest contract negotiations.
"I love the football club, I love playing here and I feel really at home at Collingwood," he said.
"It's taken me probably the first five years … to really call this place home, and I've bought a house here in Melbourne, and I'm living with Tim Broomhead and my partner Rachael, and I've got a little dog, too.
"So I'm really starting to put things together outside of football here in Melbourne and if I was to uplift that right now, I'd feel like I wasn't really ready to do that."
Grundy analysed All Australian ruckmen Todd Goldstein, Max Gawn and Nic Naitanui ahead of this season and has responded with a career-best campaign. He has averaged almost 37 hit-outs and more than 18 disposals in his 19 games in 2017.
"I'm always comparing myself to those types of players, and I think that's really helped me to get to where I am today and along with self-belief in what I'm able to do," Grundy said.
"I have my support network to thank for that.
"It's not until you put that block of work in, year after year, to not get any reward (that you understand what you want) … We're here to be a success."
Grundy will return on Saturday against Melbourne from his two-week ban for a sling tackle on Kangaroo Ben Brown. He has played 81 games in five seasons.