Cats claim overdue win
GYMPIE Cats have taken what they deserve, claiming their first win of the season last weekend, beating North Shore Jets 9.14 (68) to 4.7 (31) at Six Mile Oval.
The Cats have had an up and down season, facing a lack of players both at games and training however, coach Glenn Warren said he'd seen a gradual improvement in the team's form.
Warren's previous expectation the Cats would improve as they moved into the second half of the season have been met and Saturday's win was proof the team was clawing their way upwards.
There was no messing around for the Cats on Saturday afternoon - they got the ball rolling with two early goals against North Shore.
The play that followed saw the sides level out but Warren said it was the fourth quarter of the game that saw Cats kick up into a higher gear.
"Up until three-quarter time it could have been anyone's game, then in the last quarter we skipped away," Warren said.
A broken wrist didn't stop Hayden Rogers from an excellent performance.
"He had a really good game," Warren said.
He said Rogers broke his wrist in the first quarter, but didn't realise it until after full-time. Unfortunately, the injury ruled Rogers out for the remainder of the season.
Warren said full-back Dean Stainsby gave a top performance, as did under-16s recruits Jack Clouston and John Gorrie.
He said their performance was good and experience in the senior grade would be beneficial for the future.
"They played really well," Warren said.
He said five or six under-16s players had stepped up this year and it had all been good preparation for a transition to more senior competition in years to come.
"It's good experience for them to have a taste at a higher level but they handled it really well," Warren said.
He said the players' slow introduction to senior-level competition looked promising for the future of the Cats senior team in the years to come.
Warren said the team was going through a rebuilding phase but still had the benefit of experience in the ranks, with players such as himself and former Sydney Swans under-19 Angus Nevin able to offer their younger teammates advice.
Warren said Nevin gave the younger players someone to look up to and hoped they could take what he and Nevin said onboard and use it in their on-field experience.
The Cats now had their sights set on a win against Maroochydore on Saturday.
Warren said the team would bring with it confidence from last Saturday's win, but said there was still work to be done on the team's execution of the game.
"We need to have a bit more composure, cleaner possession of the footy and look up the ground a bit more," he said.
"We have been getting rid of the footy a bit too quickly under pressure and we need to make better use of the footy."
If the Cats could make smart passes and hold on to the ball that bit longer between passes, they might just have what it took to take the win from fifth-placed Maroochydore and Warren said he had the side to do it.