FOR­WARD THINK­ING

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Driveway - with Josh Kennedy

IT’S im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine the emo­tions you feel af­ter los­ing a grand fi­nal.

When pre­par­ing for last week’s game against Hawthorn, you don’t re­ally think about the re­ac­tion you might have if you come up short in the big­gest game of your life.

All of your fo­cus and that of your team­mates is on pre­par­ing for the game, do­ing ev­ery­thing you can to give your­self the best chance of suc­cess. The ram­i­fi­ca­tions of win­ning or los­ing don’t re­ally cross your mind.

But the mo­ment the siren sounds and the op­po­si­tion is cel­e­brat­ing, it’s just such an empty feel­ing.

For all of us, it wasn’t just about the big­gest game of the sea­son, we were play­ing the big­gest game of our ca­reers.

We have been work­ing hard for many years – some of us longer than oth­ers – for that mo­ment and when you lose that game it’s gut-wrench­ing.

Un­til that point, the week had been ev­ery­thing we had ex­pected and prob­a­bly more.

From the time we had about 10,000 fans at a train­ing ses­sion on the Mon­day of grand fi­nal week, to the time we left for Mel­bourne and the grand fi­nal pa­rade, it was just all very sur­real.

The build-up and ex­pe­ri­ence, run­ning out in front of 100,000 peo­ple at the MCG was fan­tas­tic, but sadly the game did not play out the way we had hoped. In time, we will re­flect on the sea­son and be proud of what we achieved in the year. But at the mo­ment it just cuts pretty deep that we couldn’t match the Hawks when it mat­tered.

We will do ev­ery­thing we can in the pre-sea­son to en­sure we give our­selves the best op­por­tu­nity to get back there in 2016 and get the re­sult we all dream about.

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