Heart­break­ing de­feat

Benalla Ensign - - O&kfl -

From Page 32 sea­son.

‘‘Be­cause we didn’t have some dom­i­nant play­ers out on the field it’s evolved other blokes fur­ther which has been a great way to look at the sea­son,’’ Mo­ran said.

‘‘I thought when I did my knee in round five that it would be it for footy and I wouldn’t be able to cope with it.

‘‘It’s been kind of funny be­cause go­ing from a play­ing coach to be­ing an off field coach I think I’ve adapted to it pretty well.

‘‘I have learnt so much more about my­self as a coach and I know more about my play­ers now than I ever have.

‘‘I’m prob­a­bly more driven now than ever to play football again.’’

It was also a spe­cial sea­son for four Pan­ther play­ers who were named in the Ovens and King league team of the year in Alis­tair Jacka, Ri­ley Mo­ran, An­drew Trende and Chris O’Con­nor — all con­tin­u­ing their top form into fi­nals.

Mo­ran also praised the ef­forts of Justin Ger­va­soni, Ben Pretty, Kyle Col­li­son and Jay­den Guppy for the in­flu­en­tial roles they played through­out the sea­son.

He also ac­knowl­edged the tire­less work of Pan­thers coach­ing staff Colin Tat­ter­son, Paul O’Brien and Shane Allen for help­ing the team since tak­ing over the reigns in 2016.

‘‘The credit has to go to th­ese Mo­ran said.

‘‘I get all of the ac­co­lades and the credit and it’s my head on the chop­ping block if we aren’t go­ing as well as we should, but th­ese blokes have put in a phe­nom­e­nal amount of ef­fort.

‘‘They’re three of the best blokes I’ll ever coach with, they’re just phe­nom­e­nal.’’

Mi­lawa will now take on Tar­rawingee at City Oval on Satur­day to de­cide who will take the Ovens and King league pre­mier­ship for 2018.

●three,’’

Not Pan­thers’ day: Jay­den Guppy tries to avoid be­ing wrapped up in a tackle. Pic­tures: Garry Jones

Proud: Pan­thers coach­ing panel Paul O’Brien, Shane Allen, Harry Mo­ran and Colin Tat­ter­son.

Work­ing hard: Jay­den Guppy looks over Ri­ley Mo­ran as he kicks in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

Search­ing: Zac Amarant looks for op­tions against Mi­lawa.

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