The Kyabram District Football League season has ended for Longwood and, despite being on the wrong end of the scoreboard in their last game against Nagambie, there was optimism in the air.
The Redlegs have had one of their most competitive seasons both on the football field and on the netball court.
All teams have had victories and have climbed towards the middle rungs of their respective ladders.
More pleasing is the continued development of the Redlegs’ under-age program and the flow-on benefits this has seen.
In the final clash of the season the Redlegs saw a number of their under-age players step up and relish the experience of playing open-age competition.
Among them was Longwood local Tess Manson, who has doubled up in the back end of the season and will be well-placed to impact next season given her experiences in the C-grade team.
The Redlegs also had players that stepped up for a taste of A-grade.
On the football field, some of the reliable under-18 performers stepped up to give the reserves a full complement against the Lakers in the last game of the season.
Matt Bruce, Dylan Quattrocchi and Jayden Booth all acquitted themselves well.
It has proved a great experience for players stepping up this season, improving their individual games, and again emphasises the benefit of having under-age teams.
With junior players stepping up, it continued a theme of selfless clubmen putting the club first.
Key reserves players Micky Hanson and Bryce McCrimmon stepped up to the senior side and put in serviceable efforts.
Some highlights for the club this season were the reserves with a vastly improved finish in ninth with six wins.
The under-18s also finished up the ladder and the senior team would be hard pressed to topple their against the odds, come-from-behind triumph over Rushworth.
Individual highlights included Nick Kouroupakis finishing second in the league reserves goalkicking, with Beau Webber fifth.
From a club goalkicking view, big Ant Tautala and skipper Braydon Kearns kicked the highest amount of goals for the Redlegs in a season since they joined the KDFL.
The players enjoyed post-season festivities as a unit and reminisced on another season of great progress.
The camaraderie of the whole club has become a real strength.
Already the club appears in a good position, with leadership positions to be confirmed soon with stability appearing key.
The Redlegs’ presentation night is set for September 16. The remainder of the best-and-fairest will be counted and other awards presented along with a meal.
— Patrick O’Meara