The Canberra Raiders will build their 2020 redemption mission on a never-say-die attitude, captain Jarrod Croker urging fans to be a part of the side's journey.
A shattered Croker and his gutted teammates met with fans on Tuesday afternoon, all still coming to grips with Raiders grand final heartbreak.
The Raiders have been rebuilt this season as a gritty, determined and relentless defensive unit, which gave them a shot at winning their first premiership in 25 years.
They got within 10 minutes of their title goal before it was crushed by the Sydney Roosters.
"We've got to remember how this feels. Next year is a long way away, so we've got to hang tough and stick together," Croker said.
"The way we got to the grand final, if we fluked it, it would be a different story. But we earnt the right.
"I hope Canberra is the proud of the way we played, we've turned this green jersey into a tough, gritty, scrappy footy side. I couldn't be prouder of that.
"We're never dead [in games]. We're one of the better sides at going the distance now, that's in our DNA. It's only going to get better - that scrappy desire for this jersey."
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The Raiders were the third best defensive team in the NRL this season in a remarkable turnaround for a side perceived as brilliant with the ball but frail without it.
It was the Raiders' most consistently good season in 16 years and they forced their way into the grand final for the first time since 1994.
The statistics, however, will do little to ease the pain the players are feeling after getting so close to their premiership ambitions.
"It kind of hit me in the change room [after the match], the disappointment," said Raiders co-captain Josh Hodgson.
"I haven't looked back at the match itself in detail yet, disappointed about the result and the night but it's just time for me to get away from footy for a little bit.
"Just a week or so with the family, go off the grid a bit and make sure the boys do the same.
"It's been a big year for us this year ... we'll regroup and hope this is the first final of many for us.
"We've set a really good foundation, we know what it takes to be a good consistent team, especially defensively. That's a big difference ... hopefully it's a good learning curve."
The Raiders' individual focus will now switch to representative duties, with several players picked for international duties.
Jack Wighton, Nick Cotric and Josh Papalii are in the Australian squad, Corey Horsburgh and Emre Guler are in the junior Kangaroos and Elliott Whitehead, Ryan Sutton and George Williams in the England nines squad.
Williams will link with the Raiders next season, becoming the fifth English player on the roster.
But his impending arrival has cast doubt over the future of playmaker Aidan Sezer, who has been linked to a three-year deal at Huddersfield in the UK Super League.
Sezer still has one year remaining on his contract in Canberra, but Huddersfield coach and former Raiders captain Simon Woolfoord was in Canberra meeting with players. Joey Leilua has also been linked to a move to Sydney while Jordan Rapana could shift his career to Japanese rugby union.