Bombers see gains despite AFL final loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers see gains despite AFL final loss

Sam Lienert 11/09/2011 08:13:09 PM Comments (0)

Disappointed Essendon players believe their AFL season can be a "stepping stone" to brighter things despite ending on a flat note.

Heath Hocking, the Bombers' best, with his determined effort on Carlton's Chris Judd, and Angus Monfries, who fought hard for 21 disposals and three goals, said Sunday's elimination final belting from Carlton did not erase the season's gains.

"We went into the year with just an expectation to improve and I think we've done that," Monfries said of Essendon's rise from 14th to eighth in their first season under James Hird.

"It's disappointing to play the way we did today, but I guess it's a step in the right direction to play in a final, play on a big stage like it was today in front of 90,000 people and we're going to be better for that experience."

He said Hird had emphasised the progress the club had made in a post-match speech to the players.

"He just said that we've improved this year and this is a stepping stone to what we want to achieve," Monfries said.

"We've just got to get back on the horse, keep our heads up and look forward to the pre-season."

Hocking said clearly, the Bombers could not be completely satisfied with their year, given their limp finals exit.

"That's probably the most disappointing, to get there and then offer up that."

But he also plucked some hope for the longer term out of the immediate gloom.

"We've obviously improved over the season and come from a long way back," the tough midfielder said.

"I think besides not coming out today and performing, we've done a good job of the improvement and we've just got to keep improving and go into next season."

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