Beaten Tigers look to future
COLAC coach Kane Leersen believes his side is on the right track to continue its upward curve, despite falling to St Joseph’s by 74 points in Saturday’s preliminary final.
After a seventh-place finish last year, Colac placed enormous trust in younger players such as Zach Zdybel, Leigh Gorwell, George Steven, Luke Hillman and Liam McCarthy, which paid dividends.
The growth has been more dramatic than even Leersen expected.
“You look at last year, we (across reserves and seniors) won 11 games as a senior group and lost 25,” Leersen said.
“This year we’ve won close to 30 games as a group and lost only eight to 10, so our overall percentage as a club went from 60 per cent to 140 per cent in 12 months.
“We’ve improved that much this year, but now the challenge is to find that last 10 per cent so we can compete with St Joseph’s and St Mary’s.
“You can only do that with strong behaviours over a long time. We want to be a club who’s hard to beat.”
Leersen conceded Colac “just lost to a better side” and lauded St Joseph’s skills as the Tigers were held to just four goals for the afternoon.
“I just think overall they’re a quality side,” Leerson said.
“There’s so much composure, clean ball use and a lot of mature footballers and they were 18-0 for a reason.”
Leersen confirmed veteran ruckman Lochie Veale would be given time to work out what his playing future looked like.
Leerson said he didn’t want to veer too far away from the successful formula of this season.
“We want it to be local boys, and do it in a sustainable way,” he said.
“It’s not about money or ego. It’s about wanting to be a part of something that’s more important than yourself.”