A few things because one size doesn't fit all and not everything is black and white.
The signs were there against the Hawks that we were starting to look fatigued
Don't underestimate how much the previous back to back 4 must win elimination games we had effected our players emotionally. We were on a knifes edge coming in against the Eagles.
They should have been done week 1 at home against the Pies and without the week off Kennedy would have been in trouble, but somehow they dug out a win. Good luck to them they hung in and the Pies ran out of legs
In the prelim we started nervously and bang it was almost gone. Players come out after quarter time in their shells and bang bang two quick goals and that is it, the mountain is to high and we were officially cooked.
We had the weaknesses down back going in which were magnified by us getting smashed at the clearances allowing them easy delivery.
I like our game style it stands up but needs some tweaks and some greater outside polish. We saw in the later part of the season much improved delivery inside 50 and cohesion moving forward in waves with quick ball movement.
Not finishing top 4 cost us dearly, I honestly believe with the build up and emotion we brought into week 1 of the finals that we would have beaten any side in front of us, but we shall never know
The ball moves quicker than any player will and you never look slow controlling the game. Take the prelim out of it and I seen a lot to be pleased with and a lot, which I have seen in previous contenders just before they hit their straps.
Lewis has been great for us as was Bernie but the baton started to be passed this season with many of the younger players becoming on field leaders and taking the game by the neck.
I expect Lewis will be depth come mid 2019 and when we get the 80-100game mark into our nucleus we will see flexibility in our side, we will have the combative game style but we will see players controlling and taking the sting out of games regularly.
The biggest hurdle we face next season is for the player group to not believe in natural progression, if we do we will be caught out. We were the hunted in the Prelim and didn't deal with it.
We must work hard from the outset, set standards in workrate, preparation, discipline and hardness. We have the cattle, we have the gamestyle and are so close now but nothing comes easy no matter how good you are