The Sawtell Scorpions have had a tough first season in the Coastal League One Women competition.
But despite sitting at the bottom of the ladder with three draws, they are finishing the season with some positive performances which belies their league standing.
This was apparent last weekend with two one goal losses against teams they have been competitive against this season.
The Scorpions opened the weekend with a 1-0 defeat to the Coffs City United Lionesses, a team in which they shared the points in a 1-1 draw in their previous encounter.
The Scorpions backed up with a catch-up game the next day against the Macleay Valley Rangers, going down 3-2 against a team in which they had previously shared the points with twice this season, including their previous meeting.
Scorpions coach Graham Shanahan said the developing mentality and skillset of his young players had been the biggest change from the start of the season.
“At the start of the season the younger players who have come up through the junior ranks were content to bomb it up forward, but now they are learning to be more composed and keep possession,” he said.
“I’ve noticed their development, and comparing them to last year in 2nd division, there’s no comparison as they have improved no end.
“We knew this year would be a transition year, but we definitely haven’t been out of our depth.
“It’s really encouraging to see that the girls are able to compete at this level.”
The Scorpions coach was pleased with the performances of his younger defenders who stepped up to make their mark.
“We lost two experienced defenders early in the season, and I supposed initially it was having that foundation in defence that we had to rebuild,” he said.
“I started changing the backline a lot, but then towards the end of the season I stuck with the three 17-year-olds, and that’s what’s been a big change this season.
“They have really impressed me, as they kept a clean sheet against Rangers and kept the Lionesses to one goal.
“And they’ve been really honoured to get the call up.