CARLTON coach Michael Voss wants his team to feel the disappointment of having a Grand Final spot ripped away from it and let the pain of a preliminary final defeat drive its hunger for success next year.
The Blues fell short of their first Grand Final since 1999 in circumstances that will have them asking 'what if?' over a long summer. Having built a 30-point lead in the first quarter, they conceded 10 of the next 11 goals against Brisbane at the Gabba to lose by 16 points.
Rather than reflect on their incredible recovery this season after winning only four of their first 13 games, Voss wanted to "sit with the disappointment", having learned how valuable the emotion can be in the long run.
LIONS v BLUES Full match coverage and stats
"Feeling the hurt and feeling like you're close and having that opportunity ripped away from you, there's no better experience than that," Voss said on Saturday night.
"What I hope it turns into is we're a hungry football club and a hungry football team. We want to figure at this point of the season more often to give ourselves that chance.
"We came in with a real goal to get this job done and we've fallen short, so we're extremely disappointed.
"We came up here thinking our best was good enough … the goal is clear for us, and we've fallen short of it."
The Blues drew their opening game this season against Richmond and won just four games up to round 13, putting Voss under mounting pressure in just his second season in charge.
The former Brisbane coach was able to inspire a nine-game winning streak from that point, however, leading the team into September, where thrilling wins against Sydney and Melbourne followed.
"As the season unfolded and as our form came together, we had that collective shift together," Voss said.
"It seemed like we could compete against the best teams in the competition and the last couple of weeks reinforced that in our own minds.
"What's really important is we're having all these really great experiences together and all these great moments where we're learning a lot about ourselves.
"We've talked a lot about adapting and overcoming, and we’ve certainly done that as a football club.
"To see how that's transpired across the course of the year has been incredibly impressive to watch."
The Blues need only look to their opponents on Saturday night for an example of what preliminary final disappointment can turn into, after the Lions clawed back the five-goal deficit to win through to their first Grand Final under coach Chris Fagan.
"They've played in a few finals series, made a prelim a couple of times and fallen short themselves," Voss said.
"You're continually looking at yourselves to try and get better, and we'll be no different. There's a lot to take forward that we will.
"We've also got to acknowledge that we need to get that movement needed to take us to the next level, because today we fell short."