'We've been waiting a long time for this': Former Dons revel in Demons' run
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'We've been waiting a long time for this': Former Dons revel in Demons' run

Amid the euphoria of Melbourne's first finals win for 12 years, the emotions were particularly strong for good mates Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham.

This time two years ago, Hibberd and Melksham were among the 34 Essendon players about to end their 12-month doping bans, which were imposed because of the Bombers' supplements debacle.

Best mates: Jake Melksham and Michael Hibberd are enjoying success at Melbourne.

Best mates: Jake Melksham and Michael Hibberd are enjoying success at Melbourne.

Photo: AAP

Melksham was already at Melbourne, having been traded after the 2015 season, and Hibberd joined him in late 2016.

It was time for a new start and a new club.

Hibberd and Melksham have been important players for the Demons in their long-awaited return to the top eight.

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They shared a couple of moments either side of last Friday night's elimination final win over Geelong.

"It's been an incredible journey, a lot of ups and downs" Hibberd said.

"We had a little moment after the game and even before the game.

"We looked at each other and said 'we've been waiting a long time for this'.

"Jake's my best mate - far out, we've won a final."

It is the first finals win for Hibberd and Melksham, who had played in a losing elimination final apiece at Essendon.

Now a 121-game veteran, Hibberd is finding it a novel experience to still be playing in September.

"But I'm loving it and I don't want it to end," he said.

"Sometimes at this time of year, you feel a bit gassed and you're about done, you've probably had enough of playing footy.

"At the moment, I feel like I could play for another three months."

Next the Demons play Hawthorn on Friday night in a semi-final and Hibberd is determined that they keep going.

"We've won a final and we're greedy, we want to win another one and hopefully win another one after that, make a grand final," he said.

"I guess I saw when I moved over to Melbourne, this was a list that had so much potential.

"Now I feel like people are starting to see it the way I saw it and the way 'Goody' (coach Simon Goodwin) envisioned it.

"He talked it up to me, that this could the list that goes well in finals."

AAP