Carlton coach Michael Voss admitted his players were “depressed” following the one-point loss to arch-rivals Collingwood that ended the Blues’ season.
The Blues had less than two minutes to go in their first finals campaign since 2013 on Sunday but Jamie Elliott’s goal put the Pies in front by a point which proved the final margin in front of an MCG crowd of around 90,000.
Voss’ first season as Carlton manager will end after a disappointing final, but he is determined to use it as motivation for 2023 after the Games.
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“It was fun, wasn’t it? Cruel is another word. I just told them about the process we went through. “I mean, the game itself, I can throw any number at you and it’s positive for us,” he said.
“I said to them, ‘Let’s not forget this moment.’ Let’s use our feelings as motivation.’
When it gets a little tough during the year or you have to come to another session or you feel like you have to do more recovery, that’s why you do it, because you miss it so much.
After an 8-2 win-loss record to start the season, the Blues moved into the top four, but have lost five of their last six games to finish in eighth place by just 0.6 per cent.
Vos said the club was very disappointed with the final result.
“They were very sad. We didn’t want this season to end, we felt we had a lot in us,” he said.
“When we were in the position we were in, we wanted to play finals football. We’ve fought hard as football for a long time to get back to a position like this, so it feels like this.
“We have a lot of things to like out of the game, but in the end, when it came down to the key moments, we just couldn’t do it. That hurts a little.”
Still, Voss was confident the team is headed in the right direction now that several top coaches have been fired and board changes have been made before the 2022 season.
“I feel like we were able to make that significant difference, but we’re not going to get what we want, which is the playoffs,” he said.
“I don’t mind saying that we have a goal to play in the finals. That’s right. Why are we afraid to be able to say that? We would have loved to have made it there and were very disappointed that we couldn’t.
“We’re going to get back to work and go hard.”