Despite a season of injuries and new faces, the Stawell Warriors have overcome the challenges to piece together an impressive 2021 campaign.
Prior to the season, doubts lingered over the competitiveness of the Warriors side, with a few fresh faces lining-up come round one.
But the tone for the season was set with a 77-point win over the Rats on Good Friday, with Stawell Warriors football department manager Blair Hart pleased with his side's development over the course of the season.
"Our goal was to develop footballers and our injuries have given others opportunity," he said.
"We have blooded a few with their first game of senior football and a few of our young players have taken that next step to becoming a better footballer.
"I think we have learnt that we are not far off the pace.
"We are probably closer than we thought and we have also learnt how about how important each player is to the side."
The top end talent of the Warriors was never under question with Tom Eckel, Jackson Dark and Cam Kimber leading the way.
But Hart said it was pleasing to see players like Jarrod Illig, Tom Walker, Bailey Taylor, Riley Ika and Lucky Ika take the next steps towards becoming more complete senior footballers.
Hart was also excited to Sam Jenkinson play some significant senior football from the Under-17s in 2021.
"We rely on them," he said.
"Sometimes they might not realise how important they are to us and to our performance.
"We have always known they have had the talent, but for us it has been surprising how much influence those players can have on your team and have improved our club."
Throughout the year the Warriors also had guns Jay Moody and Cody Driscoll parked on the sidelines thanks to injury.
But the Warriors were able to find a way to bank nine wins, enough for third place on the ladder in the WFNL senior football.
In the Warriors' other football grades the reserves finished eighth on the ladder.
In the juniors the Under-17s finished fifth, recording four wins for the year and the Under-14s finished eighth with one win.
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