Former Melbourne captain and 302-gamer Nathan Jones has opened up on the struggles he fought through after his Demons achieved premiership glory without him last year.

Jones, a long-time spiritual leader of the club, also spoke of his personal battles throughout his career, including during the Demons' darkest days in the early 2010s, in front of Melbourne Football Club royalty at the Norm Smith Oration on June 2.

"No one would know of my struggle post grand final, I really struggled mentally, I closed myself off from all of those around me, in some way feeling helpless," said Jones.

Jones shed light on his thought processes after announcing his retirement and having to watch his teammates go on to achieve the premiership glory he'd desired for the longest time.

"For I knew this was it, everything I'd attached my view of success to was now never going to be achieved, I couldn't reach the peak and how could I ever be fulfilled after all of that", Jones said.

"As players, you can only take so much negativity and I really struggled at times with my own self-doubt. A regretful trait of linking my own self-worth to achievement, accolades, and recognition was what I struggled with the most.

"This was born out of the want to be admired and respected both personally and as a club. I'll never forget those periods of utter embarrassment, ashamed to even get out of my car to pick up a post-game meal, avoiding catching up with friends for fear of what people would say or think, embarrassed to even be with my own close-knit crew of people.

"It was like they felt sorry for you, and that sentiment made me feel ill."

Speaking recently on the Dyl & Friends podcast, Jones detailed his mindset and goals for the remainder of his career after stepping down from his captaincy position in 2019.

"I spoke a lot to Goody, once I gave away the captaincy, around what legacy I could leave," Jones said on the podcast.

"Whether or not I play in a premiership ... or we play finals again or not."

Jones said he channelled his experiences under then-coach Paul Roos.

"I went back to when I last signed a long-term deal under Roosy when I was in that first year as captain on my own," he said.

"I was like, I may never play in a premiership, but the one thing I want is for no one that comes into this club to ever go back through a period like we had for the majority of my career.

Despite not being able to hang a premiership medallion around his neck, the impact Jones made on his teammates and the club during his time in the red and blue won't be forgotten.

"I've just seen so many guys come and go and not many of us survived. That's not how your AFL career and dream should go," Jones continued.

"If I wasn't to win a flag, at least the club would hopefully be in a better place, and if I could influence that in any way, that was my goal.

"That's practically how it panned out really."