EACH year footballers across every competition step up and take on greater roles.
The Hampden league is no different.
The Standard asked coaches which players deserve the mantle as their most improved after eight rounds.
Teenagers feeling comfortable at the level and players thriving in new roles or with added responsibility made the list.
"He had a massive pre-season and coming in this year as the first ruckman without Levi (Dare) at the footy club, he's really been able to improve week-to-week. His competitiveness over the last three or four games has been huge for him. Now he's starting to mature and take more contested marks and is able to get into the right places on the ground as a ruckman, that's the area he's had to work on the most and we've been working with him to do that. The ruck division in the whole league is really competitive, there's a lot to learn and you've really got to be on your game every week. He's coming along as a footballer and we believe he can be a ruckman for this footy club for the next eight to 10 years." - coach Adam Courtney
"Josh has really stepped up in the midfield. It's a new role for him coming off the half-forward line last year to play an inside job this year. He's had big (disposal) numbers. We were low on numbers in there after pre-season and the opportunity came up for him and we offered it to him and he's taken it with both hands." - co-coach Jack Williams
"He's an 18-year-old who has become a hard-running midfielder who is able to break the lines." - coach Matt Dunn
"We rated him reasonably highly and that's why we were keen to get him; he was terrific on the weekend against Port Fairy. He still has a lot of improvement in him. Even at the start of the year he was playing in defence well, playing tall or small, but he's really agile and now he's starting to give us good offence out of the back line. Alex Pulling is another one. He missed the grand final in 2017 - he has gone from not being in our best 21 18 months ago to getting in the best players at interleague level." - coach Chris McLaren
NORTH WARRNAMBOOL EAGLES
"He played the first five or six games in the seniors. We did a lot of work in the off-season and he really bought into the quick hands, ground ball stuff - he sees it and gives it. There is more to working on your game than fitness and Jye has really worked on his skill level a lot and people have noticed how much he's improved which is good to hear, especially for him." - coach Adam Dowie
"He has played every game this year when available after playing reserves grade football. Committed himself during pre-season, has got his body physically ready for senior football and has shown he is hungry to learn. This complements his high IQ. He has solidified himself into the side, but is still working hard on his decision making and foot skills to make himself and us better." - coach Dan Nicholson
"A young defender, Sam has really had to step up this year with Daniel Sturzaker out with a knee injury. His development has been consistent and he has had jobs on very good forwards every week." - coach Tom Sharp
Sam Kelly and Brayden Beks
"From a club perspective, the two players who have most improved are Brayden Beks and Sam Kelly. Sam was coming off a knee injury last year and he marked himself harshly but coming off a knee injury is not easy, especially when you're not a midget. His performances this year have been good. Brayden, from my perspective, has always been extremely talented and he's been given an opportunity this year and has flourished. The beauty of him is he can play different roles with his inside and outside midfield craft and he can play forward as well." - coach Mat Battistello
"We've moved him to a different spot and put him at half-back. The last five or six weeks he's been one of our better players. He reads the ball really well, has great skills off half-back and is a great intercepter. He's played up forward his whole life so it was a big step for him. He's dabbled in it a bit the last couple of years but this year it's more permanent." - coach Michael Sargeant
"He's taken on a heavier load in through the midfield. His consistency has been really high and his decision-making and disposal excellent. He wins his own footy and his tackling pressure is excellent. He can hit the scoreboard as well." - coach Matt O'Brien
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.