Woodend-Hesket takes the next step

Woodend-Hesket coach Ross Sleight is pleased with how his side has developed. Picture Shawn Smits

Woodend-Hesket has claims to be the most improved side in the Riddell District Football League this season.

After struggling the last few years, the Hawks sit ninth on the ladder with six wins with one round remaining.

It’s a far cry from 12 months earlier when the Hawks finished 12th with only three wins for the year.

For Hawks coach Ross Sleight he couldn’t have been prouder of the players.

“We have now won three games in a row which we haven’t done in more than five years.

“It was good to get the sixth win for the year which was the bench mark we wanted to get to at the start of the year.

“We play Romsey this week and enter the game full of confidence.”

Recording six wins for the season seemed a long way off after starting the year 0-6.

“With the draw we had, we faced the top six sides from last year in the first seven weeks.

“I wasn’t sure how the boys would go with confidence from playing in those matches.

“We were smacked by 20 goals by the Sunbury Kangaroos in round three which was pretty disheartening.”

The Hawks though responded winning six out of the next nine games.

“Credit to everyone who has pulled on the jumper this year,” Sleight said.

“We could have even had a couple of more wins.

“To the boys credit they jumped on board this year and had a crack to get where we are at.”

Sleight said it was a real team effort which had got them the wins.

“It was hard to pick any standouts. We were talking about who would win the best and fairest and it could come from a range of players.

“We had a few injuries and the players had to get used to playing with each other.”

The club is already looking at boosting the side next year with some key position players.

“We need to get a couple more players into the side.

“It will be a hell of a lot easier to get players in for next season than it was this year.”

He said early talks had been encouraging with the current list, but there was yet to be any official talks.

Sleight, who was in his first year as coach, said it had been a year of learning.

“It was definitely a lot easier to coach from the sidelines.

“I only played seven games through injury which I felt bad about as I had come across as playing coach.

“There’s things we need to improve on and things which we did well.”