After guiding Richmond to three premierships in the previous four years, Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has admitted that he is struggling to come to terms with the Club not being part of the finals action this season.

As Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs prepare to battle it out for the 2021 flag, Hardwick provided an insight into the emptiness he is currently feeling as a finals spectator compared to the incredible highs he and his players have experienced in recent years.

"It’s tough . . . even the first week of finals,” Hardwick told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

"It (the season) comes to a sudden halt.

"Your mind’s just fully entrenched with what you’re doing and your program’s in place, your routine. And then, all of a sudden, it just stops."

Hardwick, however, believes there is a definite silver lining to Richmond’s finals absence this year.

"It is a challenge, but it makes you crave for it even more," he said.

"Look, it is good every now and then, to get a kick in the backside, and it’s what we have had this year . . .

"I’ll guarantee you we’ll come out hungry, and I can’t wait to get back into it already.

"Really excited about what we’re going to offer next year."