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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Royals look to push on in 2024: McQueen

East Perth coach Ross McQueen is choosing to look on the bright side after his team’s elimination finals loss to Claremont.

The Royals were atop the ladder with only four weeks to go in the season, but an indifferent finish to the year saw them slip to fourth in the final standings, missing out on a double chance in a top-three spot due to conceding a late goal to West Perth in round 20.

After McQueen’s first campaign in charge ended with a 12-point loss at Leederville Oval on Sunday, he told Sports Breakfast he was pleased with his side’s progress through the year.

“Maybe it’s a missed opportunity, but I think that’s the evenness of the season, and that’s football, isn’t it,” McQueen said.

“We thought we were pretty competitive in every game, I think there was a couple of games we got beat by 30, 40 points, but apart from that, everything else was really tight.

“We felt as though we put ourselves in a position to be thereabouts … we’re disappointed, but understand we’ve made some great gains this year.”

On the back of their first appearance in the finals since ending their alignment with West Coast in 2018, McQueen said he was confident the club was well set up for sustained success.

“We’re obviously disappointed about the end result,” he said.

“As the year went on, things changed a little bit for us. We started the season with a hope to make the finals, as the year goes on and you play some good football at times, you have to re-assess things.

“Expectation around the place was a bit higher than what we would’ve started the year with.”

With the club’s attention now turning to recruiting, McQueen said the club would be selective but could look to add more key position talent.

“We haven’t looked too closely just yet, we’re pretty confident with the group that we’ve got,” he said.

“We’ll maybe look to bring in one or two if we can to really add to the squad and give us that depth.

“We won’t just go and grab anyone … there’s some young blokes coming through."

Rumours have circulated that star midfielder Mitch Crowden may look to return to South Australia, but McQueen said he was confident the Sandover Medal fancy was settled and would stay at the club.

IMAGE: The West Australian.

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