Patrick Dangerfield may remain "bitter" at having been denied the team success he had craved but the Geelong superstar was on Monday night crowned the AFL's best player.
Jon Pierik is a sports writer with The Age, focusing primarily on AFL football, cricket and basketball. He has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.
Sydney will head into next weekend's AFL grand final determined to enforce the Bloods code and be the hunters - and not the hunted - as they seek redemption for the 2014 failure.
Sydney chief executive Andrew Ireland says the Swans do not crave a premiership to validate Lance Franklin's controversial $10 million deal.
While Patrick Dangerfield on Saturday began to deal with the disappointment of his season being over, the champion midfielder could yet enjoy individual glory.
Swans forward Ben McGlynn has revealed the heartbreak of missing the 2012 premiership through injury is "always" on his mind - but the chance for atonement has arrived.
A dejected Patrick Dangerfield attempts to explain what went wrong against the Swans.
Sydney veteran Ted Richards could be recalled to play his final match - in a grand final - after defender Aliir Aliir hurt his knee in the Swans' stunning 37-point mauling of Geelong in Friday night's preliminary final.
The Western Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney are seen as leading the changing of the guard – but only one team can make history this year. Ahead of Saturday evening's preliminary final at Spotless Stadium, opposing coaches Luke Beveridge and Leon Cameron must confront the burning questions, as Jon Pierik writes.
This shapes as one of the matches of the season – Geelong and the Swans doing battle at the MCG for the first time since 1934 for a berth in the grand final.
As they prepare for a preliminary final where they will have played only the one match in almost four weeks, Geelong are bracing for a physical opening by the Swans who have emerged as the league's most feared starting side.