GOLDEN SQUARE Football Netball Club senior women's coach Rick Ladson couldn't be prouder of the way the team conducted themselves during the 2021 Central Victori Football League Women competition.
Bulldogs went through the restriction-marred season undefeated and were primed for a strong performance during the now cancelled finals series.
However, Ladson was elated for the team to be awarded the minor premiership.
"Considering the year that was, and continues to be, it's fantastic for the girls to be recognised for their fantastic performance," he said.
"It was disappointing not to have a finals series, not just for our team but for the competition as a whole.
"That being said, it was a great season and well-played by everyone within the competition, we were just fortunate to be on top at the end."
Even though the team showed strong form all season, there were the obvious difficulties in the way of lockdowns and missed rounds which ultimately impacted momentum.
"The girls were great in the way they conducted themselves during what was a hit-and-miss season," Ladson said.
"Our leaders and more experienced players all took the extra step and engaged with our younger members to ensure we were all on the same page and really put in the effort to encourage each other to be their best.
"This built a very strong team culture and more importantly, an environment where we could excel."
Ladson said the minor premiership was a stepping stone for the 2022 season which would see more up-and-coming girls join the team.
"Next year our first year players will also be able to continue their progression," he said.
"It's onwards and upwards from here."
Ladson co-coached the team with wife Carly who herself had just returned to playing.
"It was great to see Carly back out on the field enjoying herself," Ladson said.
"Throughout the season we bounced ideas off each other which has definitely given her a great insight into coaching.
"Overall it was great for the group to have this dynamic."
Upon reflection on his own performance as coach he was also pleased.
"No matter how much experience you have, you always keep learning," he said.
"Even more so this year as we all had to adapt quickly to different scenarios with a measured approach.
"That being said, I had great support from the club and Nathan Williams at AFL Central Victoria who did an outstanding job in conducting the 2021 competition."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.