Inexperience within Gungahlin Jets' women's team has been blamed for their winless season thus far in AFL Canberra's first-grade competition, but coach Jules Clarkson is determined to make improvements to move in the right direction.
"I don't think it's all doom and gloom because when I stepped into the role half-way through last year, the situation was a lot worse," Clarkson told The Canberra Times.
Halving the goals conceded compared to last year, Clarkson and the Jets are celebrating small wins as motivation in an otherwise disappointing season results-wise.
"We haven't been winning but the good thing is that other coaches have talked to me and can see the improvement in the girls," the coach said.
With only two new additions to the squad this year, seeing a lift in key stats compared to last season is rewarding for the club, and the coaching staff are taking steps to improve further with video reviews of each game.
"Instead of getting beaten 160-0, we've halved those margins with just two extra players. I think they've come a long way," Clarkson said.
"There's nothing wrong with our attack on the ball and our contested footy, I think our tackling is a real strength of ours."
Unfortunately Clarkson does not believe Gungahlin's luck will be turned around this season - which is already at the halfway point - because of the lack of experience in the team, among other setbacks such as COVID-19.
The club has been grateful for the support of other teams like Ainslie, ANU and Tuggeranong, helping provide players on loan to the Jets when they are short on numbers.
Gungahlin were unable to enter any junior girls teams in the competition this year due to a player shortage, however a positive outcome is that it has provided a pathway for younger girls to play senior footy sooner.
"It's really fast-tracking their development which is great," Clarkson said. "The women's culture in our team is just amazing.
"We're really positive and we're realists. We are very harsh on each other but we're also enjoying ourselves because there's no point tripping over your bottom lip looking at results when you know we're not really there yet."
The Jets take on the Eastlake Demons this Saturday. The last time the teams met in round three was the last time Gungahlin scored a point or goal, in a 76-6 defeat.
Belconnen v Queanbeyan - Holt Oval, 1pm
Ainslie v Tuggeranong - Alan Ray Oval, 1.15pm
Eastlake v Gungahlin - Phillip Oval, 1.15pm
Belconnen v Queanbeyan - Holt Oval, 11.20am
Eastlake v Gungahlin - Phillip Oval, 11.20am
Ainslie v Tuggeranong - Alan Ray Oval, 3.45pm
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