Angus Nevin and Glenn Warren have been battling on in what has been a testing year for the Gympie Cats.
Angus Nevin and Glenn Warren have been battling on in what has been a testing year for the Gympie Cats. Craig Warhurst

Young Cats look to future

GYMPIE Cats coach Glen Warren has a two-year plan which could see the Cats return to the top of the ladder.

The local AFL legend said while the Cats hadn't had the best of seasons in 2012, the young side had plenty of potential to be unlocked in coming years.

He says the team is undergoing a transformation which is seeing younger talented players step up to the mark, and now it's a matter of time for them to build on their experience.

The Cats' recent 9.14 (68) to 4.7 (31) win against North Shore was proof the side is strengthening, and last Saturday's tight two-goal loss to Maroochydore gave little for the ever-improving side to complain about.

After a strong performance, which Warren said saw the team gel, the Cats went down to the Maroochy Roos 13.2(90) to 10.5 (65) at the Roos' Fisherman's Rd home grounds.

Warren said the game showed good signs, built on their previous win.

He said the Cats performance in the first and fourth quarters showed their game-winning potential, but the second and third quarters exposed the young team's flaws.

"The second and third quarters let us down a bit which was a bit unfortunate. If we could play like we did in the first and fourth quarters, we'd be in for a definite win," Warren said.

Warren said while the score board wasn't on the Cats' side, they put in a strong effort for the whole game.

"I give the boys credit because they stuck it out when they could have dropped their heads and got flogged," he said.

Warren credited Cody Andrews with a best-on-ground effort.

"He played all four quarters really well."

Warren said while he may be a game day perfectionist, he had seen the team put in effort to work on their flaws, and the squad had started to gel.

He said the team had a lot to learn, part of which would come with experience in a senior competition, but if they kept going the way they were going, they would be the team to beat in coming years.

"If they can stick together for the next couple of years things will be looking good.

"It's really exciting," Warren said.

He said while there were plenty of youngsters in the side, there was still support from the more experienced likes of himself and Angus Nevin.

He said this last game had shown the side needed to get the ball to the front so they could kick goals and give their defence a break, which was something to be improved on at next weekend's home game against Noosa.

This Saturday's 2pm game at Six Mile Oval against Noosa will be the Cats' last home game for the season. Glen Warren is hoping for a good local turn out to support the up-and-comers in their quest.

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