BALL-magnet midfielder Taylor Adams struggled to fight back tears as he told reporters “there is more to life” than football.
An almost inconsolable Adams drew on perspective and wisdom beyond his years shortly after Collingwood went down by five points, but conceded it would take a long time to get over the loss.
“There are no words that are going to make us feel any better,” Adams said.
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“The only way we would be happy after this game is if we won and we didn’t win.
“There is more to life than footy, but for the next couple of days or however long it is going to be tough to feel good.
“I’m proud of the footy club and what we’ve built. It’s much more than what one performance shows. It runs deeper than that.
“We’ll bounce back. It will take time. We will get over it and move on. We were pretty solid today.”
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Adams had a team-high 31 disposals and kicked a goal on Saturday, but had little interest in reflecting on his personal performance.
“We didn’t win and I’m not happy,” a blunt Adams told his own media department content producer when asked to find a positive from an individual perspective.
“I don’t know what I feel about my own performance so I’m not very happy.”
Speaking adjacent to Adams after consoling his family, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire maintained a similar message.
With his voice almost gone, McGuire declared every person at the Magpies — admin and football — “is a better person” than they were at the start of the year.
“I’m just so proud of our club,” A weary McGuire said.
“We lived our ethos this year and played for the community. Everyone in our organisation is a better person as of today than what we were at the start of the year. And that’s everybody.
“It’s been enjoyable this week to have the football world look at us as other than Collingwood the traditional or hated side.
“I’m extremely proud. There is no bitterness or wallowing or anything like that.”
McGuire said the club boasts a “great springboard” to launch from in the future, but conceded — as Adams did — that Saturday’s defeat would take time to recover from.
“It’s hard to describe,” he responded when asked what his overriding emotion was.
“What are we? We are disappointed we didn’t win but extremely proud of what we’ve done.
“We have a great springboard to launch from into the future. I look at the game and I don’t think there are too negatives to be perfectly honest.
“I think our two finals performances against the Eagles were sensational, it’s just they were a little bit more sensational.”