THERE’S no denying it, despite Merbein Football and Netball Club not having the opportunity to hold the premiership cup aloft this season, they are on the right path.

The Magpies finished third this season, only dropping two games, with one draw.

In 2019, the last season played prior to this year, Merbein finished sixth, winning seven games and losing nine. The year before they finished last, with only one win on the board.

The Magpies had, this season, taken flight.

Paddy Irwin, co-coach at the club, said it was disappointing to have the season canned, with COVID impacting the league for the second year running.

“The reality is that the league’s hands are probably forced by things we can’t control,” Irwin said.

“Things like NSW being in lock down, and then obviously regional Victoria also going back into lock down.

“With no clear time frame as to when we are going to come out of it, the league probably and unfortunately didn’t have any other options.”

While Irwin wouldn’t be drawn on if the premiership could have been taken back to Kenny Park this season, he said it was disappointing there was no finality or outcome attached to the season for any team.

“I guess what we have to do as a club is internally celebrate some wins and some perceived successes without getting carried away,” Irwin said.

“Our ambition this year was to continue on a path of improvement, not looking to sprint to any finish line, but it has been about being better than the week before – be that in the game or on the training track.

“And I think, hand on heart, we have made some improvements in that area.

“The challenge now is to celebrate the things that keep us positive, that put a smile on our face, that keep the group together and continue building a culture that attracts footballer and netballers, good people in our community and that is what is important moving forward.”