The reason I’m so intense about this finals issue, it goes back to the 1998 Marshmallow match against North Melbourne.
Talk about humiliation. After that match our club had every reason to wollow in defeat, feel sorry for itself, and come back the following year and do the same thing again.
Having listened to Robert Shaw, he said Sheedy became obsessed and furious after that match. He decided that we would be the toughest, most ruthless side in the competition. The rest is history. Sheedy learnt, had the drive & made the hard changes.
Every single one of our finals losses over the last 10 years was humiliating. Every single time, the club felt sorry for itself after the match. It never identified and learnt from that finals match, about what it had to become to be a successful Finals team.
We buried our heads in the sand every single time, and continued on our merry path towards mediocrity. We never made hard decisions, we only ever hoped the following year we could do it better.
After the first 8 weeks of this season, I don’t trust that we can be the club to learn from another finals belting.
Unless we can learn from the finals and make the necessary tough decisions, I’d rather finish the season with a lot of confidence and form for next year.
Edit: the biggest lesson we can learn as a club this season, is how to front up, put in the same intensity and mind set every single week, and beat our opponent regardless of where they sit on the ladder. That is our biggest undoing as a club. If we can learn this in 2018, we will be a top 4 club in 2019.
Then We get a second chance, and we give ourselves an opportunity to go deep into finals. That should be our learning goal.