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.