End of an era for Doon Villa
DOON Villa captain Jason Loft says its preliminary final defeat at the hands of Gympie Diggers on Saturday night could signal the end of an era for the club.
Speaking post-match of his team's 4-2 loss in Hervey Bay, Loft revealed that he would not be back next season as he will go travelling with his partner Courtney.
Player-coach Joel Neilsen is also expected to relinquish his coaching duties, while a few others have yet to commit for next season.
Finals disappointment is nothing new for this group.
Indeed, Doon Villa has been arguably the most consistent and toughest team to beat the past three Fraser Coast League seasons, but have struggled to deliver come the business end of the year.
Since winning the title in 2010, they have been knocked out in the preliminary final twice and lost a heartbreaker in last year's grand final against the United Warriors.
Loft declared he was dissatisfied with the result this year despite reaching the finals after a season filled with injuries and setbacks.
"Considering we were Wide Bay champs (Mecano Cup) last year and the grand final last year didn't feel like a loss with the guts the players put out there, to not finish with a trophy is a bit disappointing," he said.
It was easy to point to where it went wrong for the Magpies on Saturday night.
Two easy goals in the first 14 minutes put them in a hole that took them 72 minutes to climb out of.
Doon Villa seemed on track for an unlikely come-from-behind victory when exciting youngster Joel Shiletto scored in the 84th minute to tie the game. But a well-struck penalty by Nathan Nolan put the Diggers back in front.
The Diggers then sealed their spot in next week's grand final against the United Warriors when Adam Cross toed in a nice goal in the dying minutes.
Loft lamented a few moments of indecision cost his team early.
"It was a good hard final, but they just wanted it more in the end," he said.
"Our starts have been a problem all year.
"They got two quick goals and that's what they ended up winning by.
"We were vulnerable the rest of the game because we were pushing for the goals. Probably only twice or three times we've put the same team on the park two weeks in a row, so it does hurt with the boys now always knowing how each other plays."