MELBOURNE captain Max Gawn says the heartbreak felt following the Demons' semi-final loss to Carlton will make the club’s MCG breakthrough even sweeter.
Demon fans will have to wait at least another year to see the club lift the premiership cup at the home of football, with Blake Acres’ last-gasp goal dashing Demon premiership hopes.
Gawn, who carried a broken toe into the Blues clash, spoke of the anguish felt by the playing group after consecutive nail-biting finals losses.
“I'm not going to sugarcoat it. That's a pretty bad feeling,” Gawn told Melbourne Media in the rooms following the match.
“We’re going through a fair bit of adversity this football club, the last couple of years. It's going to make it sweeter once we get there.
“But right now... we had a chance, had two chances over the last two weeks and we weren't able to get it done in last quarters.”
Amongst the disappointment was a sense of perspective as the Demon ruckman reflected on the season that was.
“I mean... 17 clubs don't get there. Only one club does,” he said.
“We thought we had a good chance to be that one club this year, and that's why it's a little bit more disappointing.
“We've got to get together, work out some issues. To be fair we played some pretty good footy, we just got beaten there at the last post.”
Gawn didn’t pull punches when it came to pointing the finger at the side’s wayward goalkicking and ill-disciplined actions as key reasons for the season-ending defeat.
“I think we gave away few fifties, some interesting free kicks,” he said.
“I mean, I kicked two behinds. I think a few others missed some shots late. You can't really win games when you do that.
“We almost did but... there was a point there in that in the last quarter we could have got ourselves about three goals in front.
“We kept them in it which is something you can't do in finals, and they were able to run over us.”
Gawn was effusive in his praise of the record-breaking membership base that fuelled the Demons run at September this season.
“Seventy-thousand members is incredible. It puts this club in a great spot,” he says.
“We'll dust off and go again. I know everyone's hurting.
“It would have been great to have a fair crack at it this year. We all thought we could. And to be fair, I think we could, but we just fell short in the last two weeks.”