WEST Coast midfielder Andrew Gaff is doing it tough, but concedes he only has himself to blame for missing out on Saturday's Grand Final against Collingwood.
Gaff's flag dreams were extinguished after he copped an eight-match suspension for punching Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw in the round 20 western derby.
The ban was a bitter blow for Gaff, who tallied 34 disposals in West Coast's losing 2015 Grand Final side.
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Although Nic Naitanui (knee), Eric Mackenzie (foot) and Brad Sheppard (hamstring) will also miss Saturday's decider, Gaff will find it harder to swallow given his absence is self-inflicted.
"It's really tough," Gaff told Perth radio station 94.5.
"I played in 2015, and whilst it was a great experience we didn't have the result we wanted to.
"You pride yourself on making the most of the opportunity next time it comes around and I won't be out there.
"But I've got no one else to blame but myself. And seeing the boys all excited leaving today is hard."
Gaff insists he is still yet to make a decision on his future.
The restricted free agent is being heavily pursued by North Melbourne.
St Kilda, Melbourne and Essendon are also reportedly in the hunt.
Gaff hails from Victoria and his dad's recent heart scare could convince the star Eagle to return home.
"I honestly haven't made my decision," Gaff said.
"This week there's just too much going on. But once the season finishes, I'll definitely be making my decision pretty quickly."
Gaff's father Paul, who underwent major heart surgery in August, got released from hospital on Wednesday.
"It's good to see him back in the real world and getting some fresh air and getting fit again," Gaff said.
"He's got a fair way to go in terms of getting leg strength back and putting on more weight. But it's exciting seeing him take that step and hopefully he's on the improve."
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Gaff has been training with the Eagles in recent weeks, helping out the team's midfield group.
And in an ominous sign for star Collingwood midfielder Steele Sidebottom, Gaff said tagger Mark Hutchings has been in hot form on the training track.
"Hutch has been playing on me, a bit of preparation for each weekend," Gaff said.
"I haven't been getting too many kicks, I can tell you that. I hope that's a good omen."