The 2017 Deakin University Female Football League season drew to a close on Sunday, with Stawell going down to Horsham Demons by 32 points to finish sixth for the season.
The Warriors were unable to recover from a slow start to go down 9.5.59 to 3.9.27 at Hamilton.
Stawell coach Andrew Bach said the week off in between the final home and away game and the final game of 2017 might have been contributed to the slow start.
“I don’t think the week off really helped,” he said.
“We could see at training that the momentum we had built had fallen away a bit.
“The girls have to be given credit with how they finished the game and sticking it out right until the end.”
Stawell managed only 1.3 up until three-quarter-time.
The Warriors came out and showed their full potential in the final term, booting 2.6 and keeping Horsham to just one behind.
“We could have kicked four more goals had we kicked straight,” Bach said.
“We are extremely happy with how the girls finished with their heads held high.”
The Horsham Saints defeated Hamilton to win the inaugural grand final.
Bach said he is proud to see how far the girls have come throughout the season.
“Each and every one of them has shown big improvement,” he said. “Some of them were hesitant and a little scared at the start, but by the end everyone was marking and tackling hard.
“It is great to see that they enjoyed playing too. A lot of them were friends before, but they will be even closer now knowing they were part of this team.
“Our main aim was for the girls to improve and enjoy their time playing football.”
Bach said he believed the league and girls football in general was set to grow exponentially.
“After looking at the support the girls got on Sunday I can see the game growing a lot,” he said.
“The great thing about the league is that it is another outlet for girls who might not want to be involved with netball or basketball but want to keep active and be involved in sport.”
The Stawell Football Netball club will meet on Tuesday night to debrief about the season and discuss plans for next year.