St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt says his loyalty to St Kilda and his teammates was immeasurably stronger than his desire to win a premiership.
Despite the Saints' hopes of winning the ultimate prize fading rapidly since their grand final draw with Collingwood in 2010, Riewoldt, 31, said winning a flag during his tenure at St Kilda was still possible. And while that looks unrealistic to most, he says he never contemplated leaving his club to improve his chances of a premiership.
''Clearly, winning a premiership is something everyone plays for, but it is not as easy going to another club to do that as people may believe,'' Riewoldt said. ''In any one year you have to ask, who do you think is going to win it [the flag]?
''For me, if I were to go somewhere else and win a premiership would it be the same? I am not too sure that it would, winning, without playing alongside Lenny [Hayes], Joey [Leigh Montagna] and the other guys.
''I am a St Kilda person. I am a loyal person. I have a really important role to play in the transition of the club. It was a not too dissimilar situation at the club when I first arrived, and it's my job to do my best.
''I cannot put into enough words what the club has done for me. It has given me a great opportunity to do what I really love for a long time. I have made lifelong friends at the football club and I am really determined to get us back up the ladder as quickly as possible. I want my career to finish in a finals series; that's my aim.
''In time, I would rather be remembered as someone who gave his all for the St Kilda Football Club than someone who did not play in a premiership side. That legacy is important to me, but I have not written off the prospect of playing in a premiership at St Kilda. I still think that's a possibility, but clearly I need my body to hold up. I want to play as long as possible.''
Riewoldt says he is as excited as ever entering season No. 14. ''Going into this year is going to be great,'' he said. ''We are in a really good position at the football club in respect to a new coach, CO and president. All the important roles have been filled, the club is balanced and steady, and on the field we have exciting players. The future is bright.''