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Seize opportunity, urges Eddie

Katrina Gill  September 6, 2017 7:57 AM

Eddie's Finals Focus Eddie Betts speaks about the opportunity of the 2017 finals series.
You remember what it felt like to lose … it takes a lot out of you

After securing his first top-four finish, Adelaide forward Eddie Betts is urging his teammates to make the most of their opportunity this September.

Betts has played 274 AFL games in a career spanning 13 seasons, but had not been part of a team that finished in the top four at the end of the minor round prior to this year.

The 30-year-old has also never progressed past the second week in his six finals campaigns.

He has played in four Semi-Finals including the past two in succession with the Crows.

The three-time All Australian was in tears after Adelaide’s knockout defeat at the hands of Sydney at the SCG last year, knowing that another opportunity to win an elusive premiership was gone.

“You remember what it felt like to lose … it takes a lot out of you,” Betts said.

“When you don’t achieve what you try all year to achieve, which is to make it to that last day (Grand Final Day) … it’s just draining and you get emotional.

“If it was my first, second or third year (in the system) I probably wouldn’t have broken down and cried because I was just happy that I was playing back then.

“But now, as you get older, your time in the game is coming to an end and all you want to do is play in (and win) a Grand Final.

“I’m really looking forward to this finals series. We’re in a great position. I haven’t even had a double chance before now – I’d never finished top four in 13 years.

“This year, we finished on top for a reason and I believe that we’re a stronger group this year.

“It’s a great opportunity and hopefully we make the most of it.”

Betts has played a total of 10 finals – the equal-most of any player in Adelaide’s 22 last game.

Midfielders Richard Douglas and David Mackay have also made 10 finals appearances. Veteran Scott Thompson (16) has more finals experience than any other current Crow.

Betts kicked nine goals in two finals last year, to go with five in a match-defining performance against the Western Bulldogs in the 2015 Elimination Final at the MCG.

He’s one of only two Crows to have kicked six or more goals in a final in the last decade – against North Melbourne at Adelaide Oval in 2016. Swingman Scott Stevens was the other in Adelaide’s 2008 Elimination Final loss to Collingwood.

Betts finished equal-sixth in the Coleman Medal with 39 goals, despite a quietish end to the home and away season by his incredible standards.

He still had a significant influence around the ground, leading the League in forward 50m tackles and ranking third for goal and score assists.

Betts was hoping to get amongst the goals against Greater Western Sydney on Thursday night, but said that he’d happily go without as long as the team got the right result.

“You always want to play well … and to shine at the pointy end of the season,” he said.

“If you go out there, play your role and do your job for the team … the goals will come after that.”