Richmond's first AFLW best-and-fairest winner Monique Conti has pointed to the Tigers' final match of a frustrating season as a sign of what's to come.
After last year's straight-sets exit from the finals, Richmond had a tough run with injury this season and dropped out of the top eight.
But their last game of the season was a 52-point belting of Collingwood that Conti says shows the way forward.
"Just building from our last game, because we really showed how we can play and what we've been training," Conti said on Tuesday, the morning after her AFLW best-and-fairest win.
"It took us 10 rounds to actually put together four quarters of (football).
"If we can play that way, we'll be really hard to beat.
"We know we are (close), we just have to put in the work ... we know we'll be OK next season."
Ellie McKenzie headlined the Richmond injuries during the campaign and Conti pointed to perennial finalists North Melbourne and Brisbane as teams who have built continuity and consistency.
She is backing North to beat Brisbane in Sunday's grand final and admits it has been tough watching this year's finals series.
"When you see the teams that make the finals every year, they've been together for a really long time," she said.
"They gel together, they play a really fast, clean style. They set the standard ... you have to put together consistent games.
"It is hard, because you want to be there. But you also understand what it takes and nothing happens overnight."
Australian Associated Press