Celebrating with Essendon greats James Hird and Gavin Wanganeen has reminded AFL Brownlow Medal winner Jobe Watson as much of what he's still missing as what he has achieved.
Watson on Monday night joined 1993 medallist Wanganeen and his coach Hird, who achieved the honour in 1996, as the Bombers' three most recent winners of the AFL's top individual award.
Wanganeen and Hird were among teammates, family and friends who joined Watson in a post-Brownlow celebration.
But the Essendon skipper said while in one sense he had entered their ranks, only team success would make him feel he truly belonged in the same company.
"I suppose you are in one regard, in terms of the actual award," a tired but still elated Watson told reporters on Tuesday.
"But those guys are both multiple premiership players.
"That's something when you finish your career you want to be known as, someone who's played in a premiership and certainly that would be the goal for me.
"That's where those guys sit in my mind, they've had the ultimate team success and that's what we all crave."
Wanganeen and Hird were both 1993 Essendon premiership teammates of Watson's dad Tim, who also won flags in 1984-85.
Hird went on to captain the Bombers to the 2000 flag, while Wanganeen won his second with Port Adelaide in 2004.
"That feeling I had last night is something you want to emulate with your teammates and only the opportunity to be involved in a premiership would deliver that," Watson said.
To get there, the Bombers will need to spread the midfield load more evenly.
Watson, a clear winner with 30 votes, and Brent Stanton, with 14, between them polled more than two-thirds of Essendon's votes at Monday night's count.
"You look at the good sides and I think that Collingwood, for example, it's probably more of an even spread," Watson said.
"That's something that you need to have.
"If you look at the (grand final) teams, both those midfields run really deep."
But he said the Bombers, who missed this year's finals, could quickly climb into contention.
"I think 17 of the last 19 years someone from outside the top eight has finished in the top four the following year," Watson said.
"So the game is conducive to a rapid amount of improvement.
"We've got a lot of work to do but I wouldn't be playing if I didn't think we were a chance to be successful."