IN THE 148 matches Steven May has played for two clubs in the AFL, there have been 49 wins, one draw and 98 "learnings".

"Something my old chairman Tony Cochrane taught me was, 'you either win or you learn'," May told AFL.com.au. "I've done a lot of learning over my career."

Despite the lack of success at Gold Coast (2011-18) and Melbourne (2019-20), May said he would not change one thing about his career, despite conceding significant "jealousy" when witnessing the premiership success of former teammates Dion Prestia and Tom Lynch at their second clubs.

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"I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt a bit watching on Grand Final day watching them get their medals, and I am super proud of them," May said.

"There's jealousy because I want one too … I have no regrets, when I joined Melbourne we were in a position and we had a list that any key back would have gone to.

"What happened in 2019, and then 2020 with COVID, no one could foresee it. No one is going to make excuses, but we feel like we're ready to go now, a two-year delay in what I thought we were going to do.

"… Although I haven't had the smoothest run compared with a lot of players I wouldn't change anything, it has made me who I am today."

After an interrupted first season at Melbourne in 2019, May managed to play all games in 2020.

"I feel like we need to play finals now and not just scrape in like we tried to do last year," he said.

"We need to make sure if we're not in the top four, that we're comfortably in, because we have got everything now, we have got the fitness staff, the coaches, the list, hopefully we are back in Victoria playing in front of our home crowds and so it is exciting."