HOLBROOK co-coach Jarrod Twitt concedes last week’s heartbreaking three-point loss to Howlong has signalled the end of his team’s finals aspirations.
After a slow start to the season the Brookers reeled off four consecutive wins to emerge as a finals smokey.
But their mid-season revival was ended in the cruellest of fashion with a goal after the siren from Spider Jim Scannell.
“Prior to last weekend I thought we could afford to drop one match or two at the most and still sneak a finals berth,” Twitt said.
“So losing on the weekend and still having to play Osborne, Brock-Burrum and Henty makes it a pretty tough ask.
“With a young group we probably lacked that little bit of composure when the game was up for grabs last week but the boys will learn from it and be better for the experience.”
Despite the exodus of more than half a dozen players from last year’s grand final side, Twitt said the Brookers had remained competitive when close to full-strength.
“I’ve been extremely proud of the guys’ efforts,” he said.
“We always knew it was going to be a challenging season after being handed a tough early season draw and having to throw our kids into the deep end.
“We knew it was going to take time but their last month has been outstanding.
“Brendan Hanckel has done an outstanding job coaching the thirds the past few years, as evidenced by some of the kids that we have playing seniors now.
“Long term the future looks bright with Luke Carman, Josh Jones, Ben McCarthy, Andrew Mackinlay, Will Heriot, Tom Keogh and Ben, Daniel, Keiran and Jamie McCarthy having all developed further this season.”
Twitt will step down as co-coach at the end of the season with Brett Doswell, who has been co-coach for the past two seasons, taking control.
The dual Wodonga best and fairest will remain as a player next season and boasts an impressive record since being appointed coach of the Bulldogs in 2006.
In his nine seasons as coach, Twitt has made it to at least the preliminary final on six occasions.
He led Wodonga to three consecutive preliminary final defeats from 2007 to 2009.
The classy midfield signed as Holbrook’s coach in 2011 and made the grand final.
They lost the preliminary final to Osborne in 2012.
“I’m fairly proud of my coaching record,” Twitt said.
“To finish where we did we had to work hard and I think with the sides I have coached we exceeded a lot of people’s expectations.”