Three underage players gave Timboon Demons' fans a reason to smile on Saturday despite their comprehensive loss to Russells Creek at home.
The Demons were blown away 30.18 (198) to 2.1 (13) by a polished Creekers outfit but coach Marcus Hickey was pleased with the performances of under 18 players Henry Stansfield, Isaac Bedggood and Mitchell Wallace.
Bedggood and Wallace were named in the Demons' best players which Hickey said was a "real positive for the club".
Hickey said the club was without six players from round 10 and that he was proud of the team.
He said his side's contested ball was OK but it was "cut to pieces" by the Creekers' spread. The Demons coach highlighted some areas that his side needed to lift.
"We want to improve on our pressure around the ball which has improved and we just want to keep improving on our defensive structure because the ball's coming in a lot," Hickey said.
"But the more we can deal with it and have structures in place the better.
"If you get caught up in the scoreboard in the position we're in at the moment, it'll be a long year. So we just have to keep working on goals."
Second-placed Russells Creek (9-2) had strong performances from Jyran Chatfield (six goals), Dan Nicholson (five) and Thomas Smith (five).
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.