Essendon forward Shaun McKernan says his side must play finals this season.
The Bombers have missed out on playing in September three times in the last four years, and didn’t make it last season due to a disappointing start to their 2018 campaign.
But McKernan says making finals in 2019 should only be the start of a successful year for the Bombers.
“Obviously externally it’s been spoken about a fair bit how we missed the finals last year,” the 28-year-old told SEN Breakfast.
“We’re obviously aware of that, and we embrace that talk.
“We want that as well, we want to play finals and yeah I think that should be the bare minimum for us.
“I think we’re quite capable of not just getting in there, (but) being satisfied with that and actually giving it a red hot crack.”
Essendon hasn't won a final in over 5,000 days.
The Bombers have had a big off-season in the recruitment department, snapping up the likes of Dylan Shiel and promising young gun, Irving Mosquito, who was poised for Hawthorn.
Although Shiel hasn’t played a game for the club, McKernan says the players are already admiring his work.
“He’s the ultimate professional in the way he prepares himself, the way he trains, just the way he handles himself around the club,” the Bombers forward said.
“He’s always in the ice baths early in the morning before training, he’s always getting ready.
“The boys have been calling him the Rolls-Royce with the way he sort of rolls around at the moment.
“You can see he hasn’t quite hit top gear yet but we’re getting close to seeing what he’s really going to be capable of during the year.”
The Bombers begin their 2019 campaign against the GWS Giants on March 24.
Hear Shaun McKernan's chat with Garry and Tim in the player below.