Disgusted, embarrassed and devastated.
Sydney co-captain Jarrad McVeigh did not mince words after losing Saturday’s AFL grand final by 63 points.
McVeigh promised his club would work out what went wrong and come back bigger and better.
But in the despondent rooms, the proud leader was personally affronted by a grand final loss he considered worse than the one he suffered as a 21-year-old in 2006.
“They’re both devastating,” McVeigh said. “We had a crack that day I guess. This is on another level.
“I’m disgusted. The leaders didn’t stand up, myself included. We didn’t give a yelp. It’s as bad a performance that we’ve had all year.”
McVeigh was still wrapping his mind around what happened at the MCG, where Hawthorn smashed them at the stoppages.
“It’s a grand final, to lose by 10 goals or whatever it was – it’s embarrassing for us,” he said.
“It’s hard to put into words what transpired … they showed us how to be hard on the big stage.
“We had 20 tackles in the first half, we usually do that in a quarter.”
McVeigh termed the one-sided contest a lesson to he and his teammates.
“Now we know … they’re not easy. They don’t get handed to you,” he said.
“It’s going to eat at us for a while. It’s really disappointing. To let your mates down is not something you want. We’ll come back and get better.”
Key defender Ted Richards lamented the fact the Swans were unable to wrestle momentum back at any stage of the game.
“I don’t know if we were rattled. Just disappointed, annoyed and frustrated,” Richards said.
Decision soon: Goodes
Adam Goodes is yet to make a decision on his future, the Sydney veteran still soaking up one of the most hurtful losses of his 351-game AFL career.
Goodes, the reigning Australian of the Year, was among his side’s best on Saturday. Speculation will continue about whether the 34-year-old will sign up for a 17th season, with Goodes not interested in rushing his retirement thoughts.
“I’ve got no idea,” Goodes told the Seven Network.
“Right now I feel disappointment from today.
“I’ll see if there is a burning desire to get me back for the pre-season. I’ve got time on my side to make a decision.”
Goodes lamented the fact that his side simply “weren’t up to it” when confronted with Hawthorn’s fierce pressure.
“I’m trying to get a feel of what really happened today to be honest,” he said.
“I’ll talk to my teammates and find out what happened, because it really hurts to lose grand finals.
“Losing (the way Sydney did in the grand final) hurts a lot more because we know we’re better than that.
“To produce that we let our supporters down and most of all we let ourselves down.”
Goodes was playing in his fourth grand final and had the Swans won, he would have become the club’s first triple premiership star.
But the Hawks dominated, increasing their lead at every break.
“Hawthorn threw everything at us and we didn’t really give a yelp, which is disappointing,” Goodes said.
“As a leader of the group you want to go out there and take the game by the scruff of the neck.”
Goodes didn’t raise the topic in the rooms.
“I’m not talking about that today,” Sydney coach John Longmire said.