AFL BOMBERSEssendon Bombers star Zach Merrett has set the bar at winning a finals game in 2018.
After collecting the wooden spoon in 2016, John Worsfold’s side surged into the finals last season after welcoming back the core group of players who served doping bans.
But they came crashing to earth with a 65-point elimination final loss to the Sydney Swans.
A recruiting spree that netted Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad followed, fuelling optimism at Bomberland.
“To add three pretty quality players … hopefully means we will improve,” Merrett told SEN on Tuesday.
“The expectation is to improve which means we obviously need to win a final.
“Losing pretty poorly to Sydney last year was really disappointing.
“I think a lot of guys will still be holding onto that loss, I guess improving would be to win a final and experience winning those big games.”
Merrett is keen to take his game to the next level after winning the club’s best-and-fairest award in 2016 and earning All n honours last season.
He was eager to learn as much as he could when he rubbed shoulders with some of the game’s greats in the most recent international rules series.
“I spent a lot of time with Nat Fyfe actually … he sat next to me most of the time,” Merrett said of the Brownlow Medal winner.
“To pick his brain and work out how he goes about it was great, but I certainly made sure I sat there and didn’t say too much.
“I listened to the way (Joel) Selwood and Paddy (Dangerfield) went about their work and tried to take in as much as I could.”
Essendon kick off their 2018 season with a Friday night clash against Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on March 23.