DISAPPOINTED but grateful Collingwood supporters have converged on the club's training ground at Olympic Park Oval following the club's heartbreaking five-point Grand Final loss to West Coast.
Thousands of fans turned out for the Magpies' Grand Final supporters day, with the highlight coming as the players were presented on stage.
While the atmosphere was deflated after a tough loss, the overwhelming emotion from the crowd and those who spoke on the stage was pride for what the club had achieved.
President Eddie McGuire pointed to a fan's sign in the crowd, which he said summed up his feelings after the loss: "Thanks for the ride, we're so proud."
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There was pride for the way their players handled themselves on the big stage and satisfied with how they performed across the season, going from 13th on the ladder in 2017 to making a Grand Final.
An enormous thank you to everyone who made their way down to the Holden Centre to help us farewell season 2018. The support + love has been incredible + it only fuels us further for 2019. Thank you to the Faithful #FOREVER pic.twitter.com/iF9EVxD7NC— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) September 30, 2018
Kids in Collingwood jumpers were out on the oval doing kick to kick with their parents; while fans held up banners professing their love for the club – with one emblazoned with the words 'I love Bucks'.
There were food trucks on hand and merchandise tents, while 2019 membership was available to those eager fans keen to see if their side can remain near the top of the ladder next season.
"You know there's something very special. This is a wonderful society and family," McGuire said.
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A big TV screen set up to the right of the stage played highlights of the season, showing the adversity – whether it be injuries to key personnel or off-field issues – faced by the Magpies in 2018.
The players received a round of applause as they were introduced individually on stage around 1pm, with coach Nathan Buckley saying it was an exciting time to be a Magpies supporter.
"I was pretty raw last night, I was no good," Buckley told the crowd.
"But on reflection, I'm feeling a little more optimistic, I'm seeing the positives of what we've been able to build and I look across and see these guys (the players) and I know we're in good hands going forward.
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"We didn't get what we wanted yesterday, but we've got what we need for tomorrow," he added, in reference to the Rolling Stones' hit You Can't Always Get What You Want.
"There's a lot of work to do going forward but we're fueled by the love, care and support we have for each other. We'll attack everything with all we've got, and it'll be a bit of fun to be a Collingwood supporter in years to come."
Captain Scott Pendlebury praised Buckley for helping the group overcome significant hurdles on the way to the last Saturday in September.
"To Bucks, this group here we love playing for you mate," Pendlebury said.
"I know we will be back bigger and better than ever and you lead this club so well and we are all so proud to play underneath you.
"You are an unbelievable coach and a better mate."