It was a heart-breaking finish to a promising season.
Figtree shocked the AFL South Coast community by rising up the ladder and reaching the 2019 grand final. The Kangaroos then ran into a red-hot, experienced Wollongong Lions outfit - and fell short by 16 points.
Now, Roos coach Will Ryan has called in the reinforcements ahead of their 2020 campaign.
Figtree has unveiled a new coaching staff to support Ryan as they look to win the premiership. In a case of four brains are better than one, they will have three assistant coaches next season.
"Callum McFadden, who unfortunately tore his ACL in the grand final, is going to help as assistant coach as is Michael Coleman, from the Gippsland premier league division. He's coming back down to help, as is Brandon Lagana from Canberra," Ryan said.
"All four of us are going to be doing a bit more of a joint venture, with two of those blokes still playing. Callum will be obviously doing his rehabilitation work. At least I'll get home a little earlier from the training track."
Figtree will also be turning to youth to step up and take the club to the next level.
Ryan believes a crop of under-17s players can follow in the footsteps of locals Jacob Hennessy, McFadden, Hamish Macdonald, Jaad Matesic and Adam Schuback who have made the transition into the premier division.
"Something that has helped in our rise in the competition is the strength of our junior program," he said. "Most of the guys playing for us are juniors of the club that have gone away to play up in Sydney. We reached out to them a couple of years ago and asked them to come back and play for us. They've been part of our resurgence you could say.
"And we've got a real good crop of under-17s coming through as well. They've won six grand finals in the last six years. It will be a bit of a steep learning curve for them playing senior footy. But we have the likes of Leroy Veerhuis, Darcy Hennessy, Aidan Cook, Tom Jeffery, these are the guys that are definitely going to be the future of the Figtree footy club. We're going to see what they can do in their first full year of senior footy."
Ryan's new year's priority is continuing to develop a strong club culture.
"For a long time, Figtree sat middle of the table. What we realised a couple of years ago was that if Figtree actually wanted to be successful and play at a really high level, we'd have to change the club culture," the coach said.
"We wanted to incorporate the social stuff which we do really well but also have a bit more of a professional side, in terms of when we're training, we're training. When we're ready to play, we're ready to play. The biggest change for us was in the change of mindset of not just accepting mediocrity. Not just accepting being close enough is good enough.
"Figtree is good enough to beat anyone in the competition on our day and last year was probably the first year we were able to demonstrate those results against the top sides and make the grand final. Now the belief is there."
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