COROWA-Rutherglen coach Bryce Campbell says he is committed to taking the Roos further up the ladder next year after Sunday’s disappointing loss to Wangaratta Rovers.
Campbell said there were plenty of positives for the Roos after the 13-point loss ended a fairytale season that saw them play finals for the first time in five years.
“Some of the players just need to learn to get a bit smarter with how they go about things,” he said.
“That comes with knowledge of the game and probably playing in finals games and playing against better sides.”
Lachie McLarty (back) and James Brain (knee) both withdrew before Sunday’s do-or-die final and left a gaping hole the Roos struggled to fill.
“Lachie was a big out for us,” Campbell said.
“We’ve matched up really well against them in the past and Lachie has been a really good player this year.
“But we couldn’t afford to take in unfit players. We made the call with Brainy later in the week, that he just wasn’t right.
“The upside to him and the club is we’ve got a really good player, probably our best player, coming back next year.”
Campbell said the Roos were already looking at recruits for next season and had locked away most of their list.
The likes of Campbell, Brain and star forward Luke Gestier all signed two-year deals when they arrived at John Foord Oval.
“It’s something the club’s been working through,” Campbell said.
“In all teams there are players who come and go but we’re pretty confident we’ll keep the majority of our list and have recognised the types of players we need to bring in.
“We’ve been pretty active with that.
“You have to be.
“I’m committed to the club and committed to the group whole-heartedly.
“The steps we’ve taken have been good and I look forward to trying to take more steps, not just as a coach but a player as well.”
Campbell said while the Roos would be active on the recruiting front, they’d also continue to put faith in their young brigade.
Hayden Singe, James Svarc, Joe Hansen, Damien Wilson, Jason Marks and Tyson Logie were just a handful of players to all improve significantly under Campbell this season.
“I think we recognise now the players we need going forward to become a top-three side,” Campbell said.
“We won’t hide behind anything — we’re still three or four quality players short — but we’ll keep investing in our juniors and the players we’ve got now because they’ve come along in leaps and bounds.
“The majority of them can improve even more next year.
“We just need to add two or three classier players and next year we hope to take another step further.”