KANGAROO Flat coach Jayden Cowling expects a BFNL season without any real resolution will only leave his team more eager to complete what they set out to do in 2021 next year.
A year of dominance and filled with finals promise came to a halt for the Roos with last week's cancellation of the season.
It brought no end of disappointment at Dower Park after the Roos had put themselves in the box seat for a tilt at their first premiership since 2016 with a brilliant undefeated season.
The Roos topped the ladder with 10 wins from 11 games, while earning a draw in their round three contest at Gisborne.
Reigning premier Sandhurst was close behind on 10 wins and one loss, with Gisborne third on eight wins, two losses and a draw.
Few were envisaging a grand final without any combination of two of those three teams playing off, but that became an impossibility once the season was called off without a premier or even minor premier being anointed.
Cowling said while understanding of the position all leagues, including the BFNL, found themselves in, it was naturally disappointing to see all their hard work amount to nothing.
"In our heads, we were all expecting it, but once you saw it was over in actual writing, it was pretty heartbreaking for the girls," he said.
"They'd worked so hard, not only this year but last year as well in lockdown in the lead-up to this season.
"It's probably something we forget about a bit, it's literally been 24-months of hard work to get to this point.
"Getting the girls back on the court after a year off was a big enough job in itself.
"It's going to be another tough challenge to restart and reset. Hopefully, we can look forward to a full year next year."
The Roos were the talk of the off-season following a brilliant recruiting campaign that netted former Eaglehawk stars Ashley and Abbey Ryan, three-time Sandhurst premiership defender Carly Van Den Heuvel, dual White Hills premiership midcourter/defender Bronte Deary and state league defender Laura McDonald from outside the region.
Added to their existing high-calibre talent, led by captain Chelsea Sartori, Annie Spear, Milly Wicks and Ingrid Hopkins, the Roos gelled quickly, opening with a 41-goal win over Eaglehawk and a 58-goal mauling of Kyneton before their draw with Gisborne.
Eight more wins were highlighted by a five-goal win over 2019 grand final rival Sandhurst in round four and a return win over Gisborne by two-goals in July.
The disappointing ending aside, Cowling said there was much more for the Roos to enthuse about in terms of the future.
"For a reasonably brand new starting seven, we were rapt with how things turned out,' he said.
"It's a great start. The next job is to make sure everyone sticks around. I know everyone is keen to get back out there next year.
"We're happy with what we've started, but the challenge now is to finish it off."
Kangaroo Flat finished top two in all four senior grades during the home and away season, with A-reserve also undefeated, while the 17-and-unders were third on the ladder behind Gisborne and Sandhurst.
A training session this week on Thursday this week helped bring closure to a massively-interrupted season for a tight-knit Roos playing group.
"It was good to have a catch-up and just see each other's faces, as we haven't really caught up with each other as a group for weeks," Cowling said.
"Hopefully, in a few weeks when a few more restrictions ease, we'll have a celebration of the year and some sort of presentation night in person."
On presentations, Cowling was disappointed with the BFNL's decision not to award individual accolades this season, a view he said was shared by other coaches and players he had spoken with.
"Looking at the other leagues, the Loddon Valley and Heathcote, they have decided to still run with best and fairests," he said.
"I feel for the players. They've committed to training since last year and committed to match-days every single week, so without a best and fairest and a Rising Star for the younger players, it's a little disheartening for the players.
"I've had a lot of comments from other coaches and players thinking that it would have been nice to at least have something for the players.
"Not having finals doesn't really impact vote counts."
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