JESSE Hogan isn't spending much time looking in the rear-view mirror. He is still very much of the belief his best football is in front of him.

There is a strong desire to be regarded as, in his own words, 'one of the best forwards in the league' and a feeling that he hasn't yet hit a ceiling that was deemed to be as high as any young player to enter the top flight over the last decade.

But amid his tumultuous eight-year journey through AFL football there is one reflection that still irks the 27-year-old and that's the premiership won by his first club Melbourne, that he likely would have spearheaded.

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"Yeah, absolutely it did," Hogan told AFL.com.au.

"When I made that decision I was fully committed to leaving, but I was really close with that group. We all got drafted the same time and they're the boys that turned into the leaders.

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"Yeah, it definitely did hurt but I was really happy for them. I was at the game, and I was really happy to be there and to watch them do what hopefully I can get to do one day."

With 25 goals from 14 matches, Hogan is putting together his best season since his final year at the Demons. There are consistency issues in his game and continuity problems with his body, but there have been signs he can still match it with the best key forwards in the competition.

The most notable example was in the Giants' last win over Hawthorn in the driving rain in round 16. The deluge made it a key position player's nightmare but Hogan played as if it was bone dry in the desert.

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He clunked eight marks, more than any other player on the ground in a performance that makes it hard to argue with his firm feeling his best football is yet to come.

"I still think the best is absolutely in front of me. I strive to be one of the best forwards in the game. I think I can get there," Hogan said.

"I've had some good moments in games and some good games this year, but the consistency's probably still lacking a little bit. If I can link that together, I still think I haven't reached my ceiling, so it's really exciting for me."

Jesse Hogan celebrates a Fremantle goal against Port Adelaide in R13, 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

There should be little doubt as to what Hogan is capable of with a full pre-season in an atmosphere created by a settled head coach at the Giants, whoever that may be.

And that feeling is only solidified when you hear the Perth product talk about his life off the field in Sydney, one removed from the fishbowl footy environment of Western Australia and Victoria that contributed to a string of off-field challenges in recent years.

"I've been pretty open about the mental health issues and other things, whether that's been on or off the field," Hogan said.

"It's just not quite as intense. I think I've been recognised maybe once or twice, by Freo fans. What are Freo fans doing in Sydney? But it's been a really nice change up for me.

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"It's one of the big things that made me want to come here. I was speaking to Stephen Coniglio and Matt de Boer before I decided to come over and that's what they were saying. How relaxed it is compared to the rigours of living in Perth, or potentially Melbourne. It's been really good for me.

"You're never really past those things, but you can keep tabs on them. It links into living in Sydney and it being a little bit tamer. It’s been really good for me. Yeah, absolutely, I think those things are in the rear-view mirror."

It's a personal reflection that certainly provides plenty of encouragement that Jesse Hogan in full-flight, tearing up the competition may be a regular sight in the AFL once more.

And if he can achieve that consistently inside 50 alongside another player still in his peak in Toby Greene, there’s reason to believe the Giants can return to finals football at the first time of asking, next season.

Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan celebrate a Greater Western Sydney goal against Adelaide in R7, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"I think what he (Greene) is achieving now is pretty special. I think all we need to do is get the ball down there, to be honest. We’re getting a bit starved inside 50 as of late. If I can just work with him and we can create a bit of a headache for opposition teams, then that would be awesome," Hogan said.

"I've been at three different footy clubs, I've seen numerous amounts of coaches, I've seen numerous amounts of lists. This list that we've got is a special list and this year's been very, very unfortunate.

"We hate to use that word talent, because it's not what it's about, but there's no excuses for a list like this to be honest. We really should be pushing for finals, if not even higher."