Last month, St. Kilda informed Dunstan that he would not offered a new contract, forcing the 26-year-old to seek an AFL lifeline elsewhere.
Dunstan is officially a Demon. 🔒
Welcome to the club, Luke! 👋
— Melbourne Demons (@melbournefc) October 6, 2021
The 26-year-old reeled off an impressive line of form in the back half of the season after returning from a string of injuries and demotions to the reserves.
As an unrestricted free agent, the former Saint found interest from multiple clubs before settling on Melbourne for his future.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Dunstan revealed why he agreed to join the reigning premiers.
“In the end it was a bit of a no-brainer for me,” he said.
“I watched over the finals period with the boys that were playing pretty good footy and doing their interviews after the game, they were all very well spoken and kept bringing it back to their culture.
“Listening to that I thought it was very impressive and when they reached out and spoke to me, the things that they spoke about, in terms of that I’m 26 but they see a lot of improvement left in me. They’ve got a program set up to drive that and in the end it really was a no-brainer.”
Dunstan was asked about the challenge of breaking into one of the strongest midfields in the comp.
“The chatter probably will be that you’re not going to get a game, you’ll be playing in the twos anyway, but I’m going to back myself in. I’m in a comfortable spot of where my footy is at,” he added.
“Speaking to ‘Goody’, he’s already spoken about that they’ll really be focusing on my strengths and that’s something that I’m excited by. I’m going to get in there and work my backside off.
“If it is that I’m not in the ones, it’s not the be-all and end-all. I’m just going to be excited to be a part of a happy group who are hopefully playing good footy and winning games.”
The 26-year-old spoke on his conversations with Melbourne acknowledged his connection with former coach Alan Richardson who is now in a central performance role at the club.
“They spoke about what they liked in me, I’d worked with ‘Richo’ previously and that they value the culture highly,” he added.
“They spoke about me being a good cultural fit and if I wasn’t they wouldn’t have reached out to me.
“He (Goodwin) spoke to his players around anyone who has played in a premiership and played on that day, there’s no guarantees for them.
“Everyone comes back through the doors day one of pre-season on a level playing field and it will be who trains the best, who works the hardest and that was pretty appealing to me as well.”
However, Dunstan believes the retirement of club hero Nathan Jones could present an opportunity for the new recruit.
“They touched on the games of experience that they have going out with ‘Jonesy’ and that sort of thing,” he said.
“They’re obviously still pretty young. They told me that I was the second oldest midfielder, so that was pretty interesting.
“They were looking for someone in my age bracket with a bit of experience and hopefully I can bring that.”
Dunstan has departed Linton Street after 116 games across eight seasons in a red, white and black guernsey.