A very honest Steven May declared Melbourne “should have smoked” Collingwood in their qualifying final and was “so much better” than the eventual premier.
The superstar defender was speaking at the club’s best and fairest awards on Friday night when he was asked about his hunger to make amends for the club’s 2023 campaign.
The Demons became the first team in the AFL era to complete back-to-back straight sets finals exits, losing to the Magpies in a game they generally dominated, and then falling to Carlton in a thriller.
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After finishing fifth in best and fairest voting, May was asked about his and the team’s hunger to make amends in 2024.
“I’ve had a few fans come up to me and (say) I really appreciate and respect how much you hate losing, which is awesome, and I do,” he said.
“And I don’t want to talk about them constantly. But you know, we lose to Collingwood, and they go on to win the flag, and it f***ing hurts. Because we’re a better team than them, we should have smoked them.
“And to sit there on Grand Final day and watch them hoist the cup, and get the medals, I’m sitting there going – jeez, our team’s so much better than these guys. We should’ve been out there, but we weren’t.
“We’ve got an unbelievable list, an unbelievable coaching group, and the hunger has never been, you know, hungrier. I’m blessed to be apart of this team and looking forward to next year.”
While Collingwood dominated the opening 40 minutes of the qualifying final against Melbourne, May’s Demons had the upper hand for the rest of the contest – yet couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard.
Champion Data’s expected score metric – which suggests what should have happened based on average goalkicking from where each shot was kicked – had the Demons winning 70-55, rather than losing 53-60, for a 22-point turnaround.
Melbourne had 23 shots on goal to 15, and a ridiculous 69 inside 50s to 37, but still lost.
The Demons were also incredibly wasteful in their semi-final loss to the Blues, losing 71-73 when they should have won 82-61, based on expected score.
On Saturday night May was hospitalised due to an allergic reaction to food. He was discharged on Sunday.
Originally published as ‘It f***ing hurts’: Honest May says Demons ‘so much better’ than premiers Pies in B&F speech