When Rick Andrews was one of the BFNL's elite midfielders he was tough, hard at the ball and a fierce competitor.
Nothing has changed when it comes to his coaching career - he doesn't pull any punches.
When it comes to the plight of his winless Maryborough Magpies, Andrews doesn't want, or expect, sympathy.
The embattled Pies have struggled for quantity and quality on the playing front through the first five rounds and, as a result, have copped five heavy losses.
"I can hack losing, but I can't hack on a Thursday night not knowing if we'd have 22 players to field a senior team,'' Andrews said after the Pies' latest loss to Eaglehawk.
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"Ultimately, you're judged by the scoreline, but we're not in a position where we can do that.
"I could focus on the scoreline each week, but that doesn't prove anything to the players - it's not their fault.
"If we focus on the scoreboard we'd have no-one coming back.
"Our focus with the players is don't be defined by the result, be defined by your actions on the field.
"We're not the only club in Victoria going through this. In general, I think footy is in serious strife.
"We could feel sorry for ourselves, but you don't have to look very far to see other clubs going through the same issues."
Andrews said there was some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the Pies' 2022 season.
"It's a battle to put players on the park each week, but we should be better after the bye when we get some players back,'' Andrews said.
"Bailey Edwards, Mitch McClure, Jake Postle and Brady Neill will be back, Coby Perry should be at full fitness and we'll have (VFL midfielder) Jacob Lohmann available for three of the four games after the bye.
"I expect we'll be more competitive after the bye."
Perry, the club skipper, played injured against Eaglehawk at the weekend just to ensure the Pies had 22 players for the senior game.
"Coby Perry is a legend, Jayden Hooper is a legend,'' Andrews said.
"They're great people that have stuck by the club."
Andrews said the development of the Pies' under-18 squad and the improvement in some of their young senior players showed the club has a future.
"We're having small wins with our kids,'' he said.
"The under-18s do all their training with the senior squad and we're trying to give them an experience where they'll hang around for years to come.
"We've got a core, if we can get enough people to hang around, then there's something there.
"It's a tough haul for a lot of people, but the competition needs a strong Maryborough, Castlemaine and Kyneton.
"There's no easy fix, but we're doing our best."
Maryborough faces the unenviable task of playing Strathfieldsaye on the rebound from defeat at Tannery Lane this Saturday.
The Pies then have the bye to regroup for a home clash with Sandhurst on May 28.
BFNL MATCH REPORTS - ROUND FIVE
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