WHEN Steven May requested a trade away from the Suns at the end of the 2018 season, he had one vision in mind: playing in an AFL finals series.
And on Saturday night, in his third year with Melbourne, he will do just that.
The 29-year-old, who played 123 games for Gold Coast, has been forced to wait for his post-season debut, but after 45 appearances in the red and blue, he’s desperate to make his mark when it matters most.
“Man, I’m so stoked and excited,” May said on The Talking Points.
“Nervous, because it’s been 11 years hoping that one day I’ll play in a final – it sort of feels weird to be honest.
“Coming down, this is what I came here for, I just wish we were able to play our first home final at the ’G in front of our fans – that would just really top it all off.”
New to the finals scene, May is enjoying a week of firsts, but he isn’t getting too caught up in the emotion ahead of the Qualifying Final.
“I can’t really sit back and enjoy it as much because I’ve got a big job to do – we’ve got a big job to do as a team,” he said.
“But it is nice to see that we finished the season on top of the ladder, see the finals bracket, little things like that.”
The key defender, who was selected in the 2021 All Australian squad, is as competitive as they come, and looks set to thrive under the pressure that comes with playing at the pointy end of the season.
“I mean, I’m always hungry and I always want to get the next win and get the next final win and win a premiership,” May said.
“Everyone wants to win a flag and play in finals.
“I’ll certainly have my hands full with (Joe) Daniher, no doubt, but playing on one of the best players in the league on the biggest stage is a dream come true.”
Fresh off a thrilling four-point win over the Cats, Melbourne appears to have the internal belief to achieve something special this September.
The minor premiers finished the season with 17 wins and one draw from their 22 matches, but they aren’t satisfied yet.
“A little snippet of that was on the weekend,” May said.
“We could’ve rolled over and copped that loss and got ready for finals, but the boys wanted to win – at half-time they were just talking about, ‘We’ll come back, and we’ll win this.’
“It’s very refreshing to hear that from a young group.
“A young group can usually drop their heads or probably look to next week … but not this group, they’re desperate.”
Watch May's full preview of this weekend's clash with Brisbane below: