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Loss still ‘gut wrenching’ for Nev

Matt Burgan  September 18, 2017 4:30 PM

Post Season Interview: Neville Jetta Matt Burgan sits down with Neville Jetta to discuss Melbourne's 2017 Season and his plans for the off-season

THREE weeks on, after Melbourne missed out on the finals be 0.5 per cent, Neville Jetta says it’s still “gut wrenching” to ponder what could have been.

The outstanding small defender, who was named in this year’s All-Australian squad, said the harsh reality was that “It probably showed that we didn’t deserve to be there”.

“We showed [glimpses] throughout the year that we could play finals, but in the end, some of the footy that we did play, showed that we weren’t ready,” he told

“Personally, it’s burned in the gut over the last [couple of] weeks or so.

“Next season, we’ve got a lot of work to do to get there, because they don’t give out finals spots and we learned that the hard way this year.”

Jetta said he was disappointed Melbourne couldn’t get the job done against Collingwood and was nervous “thinking what if” going into the West Coast and Adelaide match, which the Crows lost – ending the red and blue’s season.

“Knowing that Adelaide were going into the game against West Coast without two of their key players (Daniel Talia and Taylor Walker) and West Coast are a very good side at home – we knew that if Adelaide won, we’re in and if West Coast won, they’re in,” he said.

“To find out the result was a heart-shattering moment for me. I’ve been at the club for a long time. To see the result not go our way, definitely cut pretty deep.

“On the Monday after, I pretty much just hated footy. All the hard work we put in – to still not be able to be where we want to be [was disappointing]. It probably took a good week to really process those emotions and even thinking about it now, it starts stirring up a bit of emotion.”

Jetta said the entire squad was hit hard by the loss and was now determined to bounce back over the summer and into next season.

“They’re feeling the same way I am. They know how good we need to become and I think the coaches have done an awesome job in relaying messages to us throughout the year,” he said.

“But until the players get it into their own minds about how good they need to become, that’s when we’ll take the next step.

“The coaches have been there – Goody (Simon Goodwin) played in two Grand Finals and knows what it takes to get there, so I think the coaches have done an awesome job this year to be able to show us and to keep believing in us.”

With the season now over, Jetta has been able to focus on family duties, before he builds into an important pre-season with his teammates.  

“I’ve got a six-year-old at school, so [there are] a lot of school drop-offs and pick-ups, and day care drop-offs as well. So, in between doing my off-season program, I’ll be flat out looking after those two,” he said.

“Other than that, I’ve got a couple of weddings to attend and I might shoot home for a bit but other than that, I won’t be doing too much. Just getting back and picking up dad duties.

“I just feel like we need to go to that next level with everything from training and I think we can do that. This year really opened up our eyes – we put a lot of hard work in, but it wasn’t enough so we need to go to another level. I think the boys are ready for it.”