MELBOURNE star Jack Viney has never been shy about his leadership ambitions, but he believes his AFL apprenticeship still has at least two years to run.
Viney, 22, is the vice-captain to skipper Nathan Jones and the heir apparent for the role with the up-and-coming Demons.
Jones will turn 29 in January, but Viney doesn't see a leadership transition happening any time soon.
"He's done a terrific job as captain and he's still learning and becoming an even better leader every year," Viney told AAP.
"I think he's definitely got a couple more years left in him at least."
The combative on-baller enhanced his leadership credentials in September with his first best and fairest award, the Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Trophy.
Viney, however, feels like he's still got a lot to learn.
"I want to be seen as someone who lives the trademarks and the values our club upholds," he said.
"For my peers to see me as someone who does that would be very humbling ... it means a lot to me.
"But I still feel like I'm learning about leadership, what makes a great leader, and I feel like I'm getting better at that.
"I'm just on the journey at the moment and really enjoying it."
Viney underwent hip surgery two days after Melbourne's season ended and has started his pre-season campaign on a modified program.
But he's already about a week ahead of schedule in his recovery and expects to join the main group in early December.
The Demons are only weeks into new coach Simon Goodwin's tenure, but Viney can already sense a difference from the past three years under Paul Roos.
"We're definitely still on the same path that we've been going down for the past few years but it does feel like a bit of a new era under 'Goodi'," he said.
"He's a different coach to 'Roosy' and I can't wait to have a full pre-season with him to see how he directs the group and the football club."