Steven May insists he wasn’t chasing a premiership when he left Gold Coast.
The former Suns co-captain made his way to the Melbourne Football Club prior to the 2019 season after eight years at his first club.
In that time, as well as his first two years with the Demons, he never experienced playing in a final. That’s all he wanted.
Just days out from the biggest game of his career - a Preliminary Final against Geelong - the key defender admits he cannot quite believe his current situation.
“It means everything to me,” he said on Sportsday.
“It’s the reason I left because I wanted that chance of tasting (success). I wasn’t chasing a premiership, I just wanted to play in a final or compete for finals.
“I felt like I was getting a bit older and then I looked at the plan with the Gold Coast, it was more of another five-year plan. I would have been on the wrong side of 30 by then.
“I thought selfishly I wanted to go and have a chance at that success. I didn’t want to be that player that played 200 games and no finals.
“Last week going to bed the night before my first final I just couldn’t believe it was actually happening.”
In season 11 and game 169, May featured in his very first final as the Dees eventually made light work of Brisbane to qualify for this weekend’s prelim.
He referenced a pair of luckier teammates as well as the experiences of veteran Nathan Jones as the notable points when contemplating his own career.
“I was so jealous and envious of Jake Bowey playing his fifth game in a final or Harry Petty (28 games), and they’re going to play in a prelim this week,” he added.
“I try and tell them don’t take this for granted because I’ve had to wait 11 years for this opportunity.
“Another good example is Nathan Jones, who played finals in his first season (in 2006) and then didn’t play finals for over 10 years. Then you speak about someone like Joel Selwood and the amount of finals he’s played in and won, it’s some sort of record, it’s quite amazing.
“It’s what we play for.
“I wouldn’t change my path. I think me playing my first final made it all that more sweet, like I’ve earned it a bit harder. I’m now in a position where there is a prelim on Friday against the most successful team over the last 10 years in terms of finishing top four and playing finals.
“I’m just in a really happy place right now.”
In just his second finals appearance, May figures to again be a central piece for the Demons when they meet the Cats in the penultimate match of the season at Optus Stadium on Friday night.