Bath back row Carl Fearns believes they can take plenty of positives from their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign despite the desolation of Friday's final defeat to Northampton Saints.
Fearns and co fell just short of continental glory in Cardiff as late tries from Phil Dowson and Ben Foden saw their hopes of a first trophy of any sorts since 2008 ended at the last hurdle.
The hurt from that Arms Park affair will last long into the summer but Fearns sees a number of reasons to stay upbeat after a European season that included eight straight wins, four bonus-point successes in the pool stages and a total of 44 tries at an average of almost five a match.
"It has been a pretty impressive campaign," said Fearns. "We were top seeds, we played some really good stuff and scored some really good tries.
"We can see this as a massive positive. We're a young squad and we're at the start of our journey, so to speak.
"We've had players like Anthony Watson come in and score some unbelievable tries; Tom Dunn's come in and put in an outstanding performance in the final, and that's what our squad has done all season. No matter who has the jersey, everyone is pushing themselves and each other and everyone wants to be the best they can be. It's been a good competition, we're just gutted to have lost."
Bath will now take some time off while Northampton get set to face Heineken Cup runners up Saracens in the Aviva Premiership Final on Saturday but their thoughts will soon turn to making amends for a brace of near misses this term.
As well as coming agonisingly close to an Amlin Challenge Cup triumph six days' ago, Bath were within a whisker of a Premiership play-off place and Fearns insists that the double disappointment will act as added motivation when they return to training after a well-earned break.
"It will spur us on. We'll learn from it. We're a young squad and we'll kick on and give things a good stab next season," added Fearns, after Bath had led 13-6 at half time against Saints before conceding 24 points and scoring just three after the break.
"It was a game of two halves. In the first half we felt as though we were in control, Fordy (fly half George Ford) was putting us in some great areas as a forward pack and we were piling the pressure on.
"Our defence was outstanding in the first half and we were getting on our feet and firing through rucks. We were bouncing off each other and were in their faces. I don't know if their experience came in during the second half, but they managed to grind it out.
"It's important that we learn from this experience. It hurts, but it's got to hurt and we've got to react to this. We'll have a bit of a rest and then we'll look to next season.
"When it comes to pre-season and we're doing hard fitness session, we'll remember how badly gutted we are. That will drive us on and we'll keep working harder. In the league, we missed out by a point so it will be in the back of our minds that we need to work that little bit extra to get each point, because that point could be the difference. That will be deep inside driving us on."
Saracens, RC Toulon and Leinster Rugby are guaranteed top seeding when the pool draw for the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup takes place at the Stade de la Maladière in Neuchatel, Switzerland on Tuesday (10th June).