Sydney forward Ben McGlynn plans to embrace his tortured AFL grand final past and not let it ruin a rare shot at premiership glory.
McGlynn has been tantalisingly close yet agonisingly far from premiership success with Hawthorn and the Swans.
He was out with a knee injury when the Hawks upset Geelong to win the first flag of the Alastair Clarkson era in 2008.
He was traded at the end of the 2009 season and missed Sydney’s 2012 grand final win over Hawthorn after he tore his hamstring in a qualifying final win against Adelaide.
When he finally got his chance to play in a grand final in 2014, the Swans were comprehensively beaten by the Hawks – his old side claiming their third flag since 2008.
Even this season’s path to the grand final has been tricky for McGlynn, who spent four weeks in the NEAFL after being dropped, only winning his senior spot back in round 22.
“It’s mixed emotions for me,” McGlynn said after the Swans’ 37-point preliminary final win over Geelong on Friday night.
“It’s obviously exciting, but I also know that I’ve had two opportunities (with Sydney) and haven’t won one yet.
“Hopefully it’s third time lucky.
“I think in 2014 I tried to push (that disappointment) to the side and not dwell on the past. But I didn’t really enjoy the week, so I think I might try to enjoy it this week.
“I’m getting a bit old now, so you’ve got to enjoy these moments and take them for what they are.”
At 31 and with 170 games under his belt, McGlynn knows there won’t be too many more opportunities for him.
But as high as the stakes are for him and his team, he’s determined to take a philosophical approach.
“We’ve got four quarters of footy left … we’ll give everything and it will be what it will be,” he said.
“But I’ll be a bit more relaxed this week.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys in this team as well, so I’ll try and share the experience with them to make sure they’re enjoying it and not getting too overwhelmed.”