Dennington playing-coach Ben Thornton says the tide is slowly turning for his side but acknowledges the club is still in the infancy of its rebuild.
With the Dogs steadily preparing for their round two Warrnambool and District league clash against South Rovers, the second-year coach said there was clear signs of improvement within the list.
"We're coming from a long way back - we've still got a long way to go so it's just about getting those small things right like sticking to our game plan," Thornton told The Main Break podcast.
"There were times on the weekend where we did it really well and times where we didn't. It's just trying to pull that off and hopefully each week improve a bit more and make those steps.
"The best thing for us is we've got a whole new team again this year - we went into the practice matches with a few boys unavailable and we had a few out in the week just gone."
Thornton said to add stability in the coaching department with Leigh 'Hungry' Anderson coming across as an assistant from South Warrnambool and Mark Jones provided opportunities for growth within the list and his own game.
"It's been great - it's perfect for me and it's allowed me to go and focus on playing footy a bit more," he said.
"Last year I was just coaching a lot of the time and having those boys come in and bounce ideas off is great - 'Hungry' is all over the technology side of things, he's got me covered with that side of things.
"It's massive and me being so young last year I probably didn't realise I was doing a lot of it myself - I did have a lot of blokes last year help but to have these two blokes helping from the start is massive and I can see improvement in my own game.
"There was a lot of ball watching from me last year, and you feel bad because lads ask how they went after the game and you sort of can't tell them because you've been trying to play footy.
"But with Leigh coming in and filming games we can go and give boys proper feedback."
Desperate to see success and ultimately winning games of football, the passion for the youngsters at the club is driving the Dogs mentor.
"(We) just want growth in the young lads, we've got such a young team and just giving them the opportunity to play senior footy," he said.
"Down the track, for example Jordan Garner, he's 17 and a ruckman and he's got a big future ahead of him. Success for me would be him going to play Hampden league footy in a couple of years and knowing I might have had a part in that.
"We've got another young kid, Dakota Davidson from Koroit, he played his first game on the weekend and is going to be a good little player.
"Success for me personally this year is to get games into those boys and watching them develop.and I'll be happy with that."
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