THERE was once a time Mitch Hannan had dreams of lifting an AFL premiership cup for Melbourne.

Running into open goal to sink Geelong in the 2018 elimination final, the then 24-year-old sent Demons fans into raptures en route to a preliminary final.

Fast-forward three years and Hannan finds himself on the opposing side and looking to win his second piece of silverware in the red, white and blue. And his second against a Demons contingent.

In 2016, Hannan was part of the Footscray side that won the VFL Grand Final alongside some familiar faces over the Demons' VFL affiliate Casey Scorpions.

Having won a Victorian Amateurs premiership for St Bernard's in 2015, Hannan got his chance at state league level and booted one goal in the Bulldogs' 31-point win.

Teammates that day included Bailey Dale, Bailey Williams and Roarke Smith all AFL-listed players. On Saturday, that trio will join Hannan in trying to emulate what the Dogs' AFL side did just six days after the 2016 VFL triumph and win a flag at the highest level.

Hannan spent four years in red and blue after he was drafted at pick No.46 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft before requesting a trade back to the Dogs on a two-year deal last year.

His teammates at the Demons included Clayton Oliver and Alex Neal-Bullen, two players who played in that 2016 VFL decider and will suit up on Saturday night. Current AFL-listed Demons Joel Smith and Sam Weideman also featured, but they won't play on Saturday.

Other prominent names on Marvel Stadium that day included Casey-turned-Brisbane ruckman Oscar McInerney. Demons half-back Christian Salem was named to play but was forced to withdraw, having not recovered in time from a concussion sustained in the VFL preliminary final win.

For the Dogs, Lin Jong made a sterling return from a shoulder injury to win the Norm Goss Medal as best afield, while the side also included ex-Brisbane captain Jed Adcock, All-Australian Will Minson and current North Melbourne ruckman Tom Campbell.

Footscray was coached by current Dogs AFL assistant and West Coast premiership player Ash Hansen.