Thundercats’ season full of highs and lows
NOT all great stories have to finish with a happy ending.
And not all teams have to win a title for a season to be classed a success.
As the curtains fell on the Wide Bay Thundercats' Queensland State Netball League season in Toowoomba on Sunday, Thundercats coach Kerrianne Farrelly was left pondering what she had achieved in the past seven months after starting from scratch with a new-look team and coaching staff.
In some ways, the Thundercats didn't accomplish everything they had set out to do.
They weren't able to avoid the wooden spoon for a third year in a row. They weren't able to achieve their first win since 2010. They struggled in the attacking circle.
But in other ways, they achieved more than anyone expected.
They conceded the least amount of goals by a Thundercats team since 2010. They unearthed a couple of genuine young stars while giving nine players exposure to the highest level of netball they've seen in their careers.
And, most importantly, they raised the profile of netball on the Fraser Coast, as evident when more than 700 people rolled into Hervey Bay PCYC to watch them play last month.
Either way, there's no denying the Thundercats have achieved a great deal this season.
The year may not have ended the way they had hoped - a 61-27 loss to the Brisbane West Lions on Saturday and a 45-25 defeat at the hands of the Carina Leagues Club Tigers on Sunday - but it doesn't mean they failed.
"You can't look at the fact with finished bottom. You have to take a look at the positives and they outweigh the negative of being on the bottom," Farrelly said.
"The players have done an extraordinary job and while we were the oldest team, we were the gutsiest team.
"From the improvement from the young players to the growth and intensity from my senior players, it was just great to see such a great unit compete well throughout this competition."
While now is a time to take a deep breath and reflect, the big question is will Farrelly be back to coach next season?
Despite admitting she still had unfinished business, Farrelly said she was undecided about her future.
"I haven't made a decision yet, but the support and recognition from not only the players but the supporters asking me to keep it going has been awesome," she said.
However, Farrelly has urged her players to trial next year.
"They're hungry and they want to see more now they've had a taste," she said.
"I want them to trial no matter what.
"There are areas that need improving but there is a good starting base to get a good team next year."