ADELAIDE midfielder Patrick Dangerfield admits the pain of last year's preliminary final loss still hurts, and will motivate the side this season.
The Crows lost to Hawthorn by just five points in a thrilling twilight match at the MCG.
"It's a motivating factor because I guess we were so close but we have put in and restart again for this season," Dangerfield told AFL.com.au.
"I suppose it's more of an awareness that we are a good side if we play our best footy.
"You can't dwell on that for too long, because we know we need to work extremely hard to put ourselves in a good position to get anywhere near the position we were last season."
Dangerfield forecast the Crows would perhaps take the NAB Cup more seriously than some other clubs.
"The pre-season will be important for us, like it was last season."
He said he didn't enjoy the Swans-Hawks Grand Final.
"Watching the Grand Final last year, it's very hard to watch," he said.
"You just think we were two minutes away from a premiership appearance."
Dangerfield predicts the Crows will be in the mix at the top of the table again in 2013.
"We certainly have the quality within our team to play some very good football," he said.
"If we have a good start to the season and we win some games early I think anything can happen.
"I think with the depth of our squad we're more than capable of playing finals, and going deep into finals this season."