PIMPINIO showed a lot more bite in 2021 than their record would suggest, according to coach Chris Walsh.
The Tigers notched just one win in 2021 - a gritty victory over Kaniva in round seven - but with a shortened season interrupted with lockdowns, it's hard to see where teams truly sit.
"Our form in the way of competing against the better sides has been really good. I've been really pleased with the way (the players) competed on the ground, it's just unfortunate it hasn't converted on the scoreboard," Walsh said.
"Expectations were a little bit unknown with the group... I love the way the boys have gone about it in the last half of the year. We haven't given up no matter who we've come up against, whether it be Noradjuha-Quantong or Jeparit-Rainbow.
According to Walsh, Pimpinio's approach to competing with the top sides was a good sign for the future, despite some heavy losses.
"We've got a good attitude towards playing the game. Even when we're five goals or more down, we just keep playing the same way.
"There's been games where we've been in a position where I reckon we would've put a few nerves into the opposition sides, it's just about hanging in there."
However, an inability to convert forward entries into scoreboard pressure was disappointing, Walsh said.
"We probably left a few games out there we should have won. There were a couple of teams that I believe we should have got the win against, but we didn't on the day.
"We got a good win against Kaniva, that showed we could do it."
Walsh said that veteran players such as Daniel Baker and Nathan Clough were among the backbone of the team.
"They put in week in week out. We've also picked up a young kid, Harry Bigmore who was a bit unlucky with injuries, but he really started to find his feet in the last four or five weeks," Walsh said.
"Dylan Thomas, another young player, has come up through our juniors and has really proven himself to be a senior player. Similarly, Liam Jacoby wears his heart on his sleeve and shows up, week in, week out."
Walsh said the club would love to recruit over the off season and bring fresh players into the fold.
"No matter what club you're at, whether you're at the top or you're rebuilding, like we are at the moment, you're always looking to bring more people into the club.
"Every club, whether you're at the top or bottom, loses players each year. So for me, it's about making sure we keep as many players as we possibly can, and bring in some new blood."
Despite the disappointment of season 2021, Walsh said Pimpinio have taken steps towards a brighter future.
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