So reads a blunt assessment of so many AFL sides, including reigning premiers Sydney, in the mind of coach John Longmire.
After a brief pause for celebration, Longmire was back to what he knows best - hard work.
First came trade period and the annual list restructure.
Coming off 33 changes in the previous three years, Longmire was at it again in an effort to avoid the rebuilding phase that never seems to happen in Sydney,
Trent Dennis-Lane, an emergency for last year's grand final, headlined a list of departures that included Matt Spangher and Mark Seaby.
But very few reigning premiers get the luxury of bringing in someone of the calibre of Kurt Tippett - even if the former Adelaide ruck-forward will miss half of the 2013 campaign due to suspension.
"There's no assumption that you can get back to the premiership, let alone the finals. You can't relax," Longmire told AAP.
The addition of Tippett, who won't play until round 12 due to his role in Adelaide's salary cap saga, looms as the main talking point for much of the Swans' premiership defence.
Just what will his partnership with 21-year-old centre half-forward Sam Reid amount to in the pointy end of the season?
Longmire is hesitant to speculate, but points out Tippett will have another four months to study the way of the Swan.
"He'll work on our general gameplan, getting used to what we do. He's been doing that over the pre-season," Longmire said.
"It's always a little bit different at each club.
"He needs to get used to our players, and he's been able to do a lot of that over the summer.
"And he'll work on improving many parts of his game. As a 32-year-old Jude Bolton can, and does."
Longmire has demanded improvement across the board, saying it's the only way the Swans will stay competitive against the likes of Hawthorn.
Tony Armstrong and Tommy Walsh, emergencies for last year's grand final, and Jesse White will again aim to be more than just fringe players.
Then there's the youthful quintet of Reid, Luke Parker, Alex Johnson, Dan Hannebery and Lewis Jetta - average age 21.
All were key members of the Swans' premiership success - Hannebery's courageous grand-final mark and Jetta's epic preliminary-final goal were among the most replayed AFL season highlights.
More excitingly for Longmire, all have immense upside.
"I'm hoping they continue to learn. They need to, that's what the game demands," Longmire said.
"We've been fortunate that a few of them are pretty quick learners and they've had the help of some senior players."
The Swans don't do complacency, so talk of a premiership hangover doesn't sit well with Longmire.
"We've moved on" has been the coach's catch cry over summer.
"The message has come from the players - they've reminded everyone of the need to keep working and keep improving," Longmire said of his senior players, many who know the heartbreak of 2006 better than the elation of 2005.
"It took those blokes a long time to get to win a grand final.
"It was a little reminder, without going over the top, that there's no qualifying period. You need to make the most of every opportunity."
If the Swans do just that, another premiership is not out of the question.