Mount Pleasant footy coach Derrick Filo said his club didn’t feel too far off the Heathcote league pace despite Saturday’s six-goal home loss to Elmore.
And he also saw a fresh and brighter future at Toolleen Oval opening up — particularly via the Blues’ youth stocks.
‘‘We had six teenagers in (the side) on the weekend which was one positive,’’ Filo said.
‘‘At the moment we’re a pretty competitive footy club and blooding a lot of youth. We think long term that’s going to hold us in good stead and we’re coming along nicely.’’
The coach named Adam Richardson and Carl Thiesz as notable Blues’ performers alongside five-goal scorer Nick Griggs, Bailey O’Connor (hat-trick) and Jim Armstrong.
Even after the Bloods got the break on Mounts in the crucial mid-season contest and probably set themselves up for being then only club at this stage likely to chase hard enough to put real pressure on a top four — North Bendigo, Huntly, Colbinabbin and Leitchville-Gunbower — that seems pretty set already.
Filo faces a mounting challenge. And will mount one, too.
So, it’s not the start of a slow, disappointing slide into the footy oblivion zone for 2016 for the Blues. Yet.
‘‘Elmore and us are the two teams vying for that (last) top five position,’’ Filo said.
‘‘I don’t think we’re too far away. We let ourselves down in the first 15 minutes. It was eight goals to nothing and we were chasing our tails from then.
‘‘They started brilliantly and we started terribly.’’
Elmore booted 11 goals in the opening quarter before the home side kicked its way back into contention with 12 goals to the Bloods’ 11 more in the remaining three terms.
‘‘Certainly at three-quarter time it was anyone’s game and to Elmore’s credit they got those first couple of goals to make the amount difference too high,’’ Filo said.
‘‘It was our start that killed us obviously but the boys had a lot of character to get back in but it burns a lot of energy when you’re so far behind. In the second and third quarters we were probably the better team but to their credit in the first and last quarter they started better and finished better.’’
Danny Brewster collected half the Elmore major total off his own boot with 11 goals, while Travis Mills added four and both Rob Ryan and Cam Millward also added valuable efforts.