SYDNEY Swans champion Adam Goodes says winning a history-making third premiership is the driving force behind him playing into his 18th season, and could influence any decision to go on in 2016.
The dual Brownlow medallist produced his best form of the season in the three games before last week's bye, and would become the Swans' first ever three-time premiership player if the club could go one better than they did last year.
Already the games record holder at the Swans, Goodes remained coy when asked if his retirement plans could be bought forward or shelved by another flag.
"Yeah maybe, who knows? It's a long way forward yet - if you could fast forward and guarantee that's what's going to happen I could answer that question a bit better, but there's a lot of hard work go on before then," he said on Wednesday.
"There's not too many fairytales in football - Jason Ball had one in the '05 Grand Final - and whether it's my last year or not my goal is very simple this year, and that's to win another premiership. And that's what I'm going to try and do."
The 360-gamer's glittering career was at the crossroads earlier this season when he spent two weeks in the NEAFL to gain match fitness and confidence.
Goodes said his plan to get match-fit had worked perfectly, and a healthy body had also played a part in his return to the senior side in good form.
In his past five games, Goodes has looked sharp inside the Swans' forward 50, averaging 17 possessions and seven marks, while also kicking eight goals.
The dual premiership star suffered a knee injury against Port Adelaide in round 13 two years ago, which not only ended that season, but delayed the start to his 2014 campaign.
Lingering issues with the problem also affected him last year, but Goodes said those problems were a thing of the past.
"I definitely am moving a lot better, I'm jumping better in marking contests, so there's no doubt the improvement in my knee has been a lot more than what it was last year," Goodes said.
"I'm not being found out because I can't tackle blokes or turn quickly enough, so that’s also a positive.
"Last year there were areas when I couldn't turn as quick as I wanted on the right side, there was a looseness (in the knee), whereas I don't have any of that this year which is great.
"I wouldn't still be running around if I'd lost too much of my speed - that's a big part of my role, to be up and down the ground, and it's something I hope to have as one of my strengths for a little bit longer."
Goodes also believes the Swans are in better shape to have a crack at a flag than they were in 2014, when they went on an extraordinary mid-season run of 12 consecutive wins.
"As a list, we've really got that balance and depth and we've just got to keep striving to be the best we can and who know what happens," Goodes said.
"Whoever can come into the team has just been able to play their role and that’s what we want.
"If an injury pops up we want guys who can come in and play their role, and that gives us the best opportunity to beat the opposition we play that week."
The Swans host Richmond at the SCG on Friday night.