GLEN Waverley Hawks president Steve Potts believes his club will bounce back from a second-straight grand final loss.
The Hawks had a horror day in the Eastern Football League division 3 grand final on Saturday, losing to North Ringwood by 137 points at East Burwood Reserve.
After Hawks forward Simon Grasser kicked the opening goal of the match the Saints assumed full control of the game, with the premiership all but decided by half-time as the Saints held a 75-point lead.
The Saints will now move up to division 2 next year while the Hawks will stay in division 3.
Potts said his side had faced a "red hot" opponent in the Saints and would respond to the disappointment of such a tough loss.
"We have to look at the whole of the season as a success to see where we've come from and what we have done to win 15 games in the season," he said.
"Then see what to do to improve, maybe get more of our players to buy in and do a proper pre-season, as a few of them came in underdone."
Potts also laid down the challenge to the Hawks players to go one better in their next grand final appearance.
"The biggest negative to come out is we have lost two grand finals in a row, which is a bad thing. It's different divisions but still not a good thing because it hangs over your head.
"If we get to another one are you going to win? Because if you lose another one suddenly people will say you don't know how to win one.
"We don't want to get to that point."
The Hawks lost in extra time to Heathmont in last year's division 4 grand final but were still promoted following the entry of Park Orchards to the competition.
The Hawks had planned for a three-season stay in division 3 to boost their playing list to the standard needed to compete at division 2 level. Potts said his club would continue with that plan.
"We are a little short of [division 2] still, so what we have to do now is go out and recruit the right players and if it takes more yearsuntil we get a go at it then so be it.
"We have to build a good enough list to cut it in division 2. Today we found ourselves a little bit short. If it takes those three years, so be it.
"We've had a fantastic season.
"I wish they [North Ringwood] had won it last year. Then they wouldn't be here today.
"Then again, we weren't supposed to be here either, at least by the way the league works most seasons."
The Hawks move grounds next year, taking up their new home at Central Reserve, Glen Waverley.
"We will keep building the place up as much as we can," Potts said. "We have come from pretty far back and still have plenty of work to go."
Scores: North Ringwood 6.3, 14.12, 18.17, 25.25 (175) d Glen Waverley Hawks 2.1, 4.2, 5.6, 5.8 (38)
Goals: North Ringwood: A Sharp 5, J Candler 4, J Whelan 3, D Wood, B Moyle, S Dekeizer 2, J Sharp, G Aitken, J Harris, M Castles, J Dean, J Vanunen, R Harbeck. Glen Waverley: S Grasser 2, M Carnelley, D Sullivan, A Azzopardi. Best: North Ringwood: A Sharp, D Wood, M Melzer, A Tuck, D Walls, J Candler. Glen Waverley: A Azzopardi, D Kennaugh, A Riddle, J Gray.