Year of progress despite ladder

On pure ladder position, Ballarat City won two less matches this year compared to last and dropped a rung on the NPL two west ladder – but coach Danny Gnjidic is adamant 2017 was a year of improvement.

IMPROVEMENT: Ballarat City's Dom Swinton played all but one game this season for a return of eight goals.

IMPROVEMENT: Ballarat City's Dom Swinton played all but one game this season for a return of eight goals.

After a slow start to the season, winning one of its first seven games, City climbed to fourth on the ladder – only behind a breakaway top three. But after winning just one of its last seven matches, it fell away.

Gnjidic said the poor end to the year put a “dampener” on the second half of the season, but there was progression.

City split the 28-game season into quarters, its first and last quarters were poor, although the final stanza could be put down to a lack of motivation once promotion hopes ended.

“I think the team progressed as the year went on, definite signs of improvement,” Gnjidic said.

“I don’t think the ladder reflected the season we had.”

There is much more to improve on, but the middle sections of the season highlighted City’s ability. While Gnjidic said some polish up front was required.