WHAT has happened at Gordon?
Season 2011 was one to remember for the long-suffering Eagles supporters, who watched their team not only shake its tag as perennial easy-beats, but accumulate enough wins to climb to fifth place on the Central Highlands Football League ladder.
A senior finals appearance followed — the club’s first in almost two decades — and an elimination triumph over rivals Dunnstown made the revival even sweeter.
While it ended the following week at the hands of Hepburn, the campaign had everyone looking forward to what this young group of talented players could achieve the following year.
But Gordon’s start to 2012 has been a disaster.
The Eagles are winless from the opening five rounds, and sit 16th on the ladder.
Compare their predicament to this time last season when they were beginning to soar.
The Eagles had toppled subsequent grand finalists Daylesford among three early wins, including another two teams that have beaten them this year — Dunnstown and Creswick.
Injuries, none more important than reigning best-and-fairest Tim Werner, have left coach Rob Fuller with plenty of headaches.
Fuller concedes that the loss of key personnel has taken its toll on his side, which is struggling to pull off the attacking style that proved so effective last season.
“Injuries are forcing us to play a different game to what we played last year.
“It’s taking a bit of getting used to,” Fuller said.
“Our targets up forward have really changed.
“We’re having about the same amount of shots at goal as what we were this time last year, but our conversion has dropped away.
“We’ve got to straighten that up and get our flow going again.”
The departure of spearhead and joint coach Steve Nicholson, who booted 65 goals last campaign, has played its part in Gordon’s ability to kick a winning score, as has the injury to target James Murphy.
Fuller said it had been a disappointing start for the club after such a sharp rise in 2011.
“We’re not even thinking of finals at the moment, we’re thinking of next week and how we can improve,” he said.
Clunes awaits the Eagles in the final game before the interleague break, before difficult clashes with Buninyong and Bungaree.