Two-time premiership coach Malcolm Blight remembers feeling a heavy weight of expectation the night before Adelaide’s inaugural Grand Final appearance in 1997.
The AFL Hall of Fame member had been involved in three Grand Final losses with Geelong and was desperate to erase those demons.
Speaking on AFC’s The History Locker: Hall of Fame podcast, Blight said the feeling of coaching the Crows to a 31-point flag win over the Saints was euphoric.
“That Friday night (before) was the worst night I reckon I had in footy, I just couldn’t sleep,” Blight said.
“There was no one that had lost a Grand Final except for me - I had lost all three of them.
“I kept thinking ‘four time loser, that’s how it’ll be written up’.
“It’s (winning) hard to describe… I mean, you float.
“It’s almost like a floating experience. It’s an out of body experience.
“Euphoria just gets you.”
The former Adelaide coach also led the Crows to a back-to-back premiership, beating North Melbourne in 1998.
Blight, who was honoured with AFL Legend status in 2017, said the loss to Melbourne in week one of the 1998 finals series fuelled the fire in him and the players.
“It was a disappointing day, unexpected (against Melbourne),” Blight said.
“I made some hard decisions on selection.
“I guess that sort of woke the room up a bit, we were right in the chase and performance was going to be the key from here on in.
“On the euphoria of winning, Sunday is magnificent, Monday is even better and Tuesday it gets better.”
In the second episode of The History Locker: Hall of Fame, Blight also spoke about his coaching techniques and the tough nature of leading an AFL side.