2019 IN PROFILE
11th (same position as 2018 - 1 more win)
2 wins, 14 losses
Senior player: 40
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING (home and away)
Quarters won: 12
Best quarters: first (averaged 10-point deficit), last (highest average score, 13 points)
Worst quarters: last (averaged 21-point deficit), first, second and third (lowest average score, 12 points)
Highest quarter score: 39 points
Quarters less than 10 points: 23
BEST AND FAIREST - Paul Bower
LEADING GOALKICKER - Dylan Conway 17
HENDERSON MEDAL VOTING
Melton South spent the season in struggle street, taking home another unwanted wooden spoon.
Despite this it managed to finish the year on a high with a win over North Ballarat City in the last round.
Although there is always hope, the Panthers were always going to do it tough and it did not get easier after tireless ruckman Ben Sortino went down with season-ending knee injury midway through the campaign.
With the Brendan Fevola experiment well and truly behind it - a venture which did in its first year of 2017 get Melton South within percentage of playing finals - it was all about stability.
So many players had come and gone in the space of two seasons and coaching ranks had been unsettled.
Head coach Heath Pritchard, who had taken over midway through 2018, knew that it was not going to be easy.
This did not mean he or Melton South would accept anything less than success, but the club was realistic to know where it stood.
QUICK STICKS: WRAPPING UP THE PANTHERS' SEASON IN 30 SECONDS
This was reflected in its recruiting, which was basically restricted to getting former Carlton player Paul Bower on board.
That was a winner, with nothing but praise for the way he led on field.
Pritchard also took a punt by getting a handful of Port Melbourne VFL players to have Melton South as their home club, with the hope that one day they might be full-time with the Panthers.
Dylan Conway played four games and as did in 2018 showed what an asset he could be in the navy blue and white.
Outside this, it was all about youth for Melton South - not that it had much other choice - with most iots players being one-pointers.
And there were some rewards. None more than the turnaround in the last two weeks of the season.
Melton South went from a demoralising 118-point loss to Bacchus Marsh to a 27-point win over North Ballarat City.
It was enough to convince Pritchard to stay on as coach - something the Panthers needed going into the pre-season.
Melton South has some ground to make up just to get off the bottom.
Just how much progress they can make will depend on what new blood it can get to Melton Recreation Reserve.
The Panthers need to experience with a physical presence, but that is easier said than done.
What they will need more than anything is patience.
Melton South is going to take some more hard hits next year.
Heath Pritchard has already spoken about following the Sebastopol model.
It was only a few years ago the Burra was on the bottom, but with astute recruiting - largely of VFL-experience - it is now in the premiership window.
Much might depend on getting some of those Port Melbourne-aligned players over the line.
That alone will not be enough, but it would have the Panthers heading in the right direction.
It was diffcult to see the Panthers performing better than they did in an all-too tough year.