A quick glance at the Central Highlands Football League ladder would highlight Ballan's struggles throughout the season, however, for coach Tristan Batten, it was a year based around building the structure of the club back up.
The senior side featured nearly all local players and while the results did not go the Blues' way the majority of the season, they had the most players on the training track in 10 to 15 years.
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"I'm realistic and I understand the position that our list is in, so my expectations aren't really too high," Batten said.
"It's more about seeing development from the players game to game and how they can apply themselves.
"There was patches where they played some good footy ...
"It's about matching it (with the good sides) for the whole game instead of just doing it in little patches."
These good patches were on show early in the season, specifically against Daylesford and in the Blues win over Carngham-Linton.
In the final seven rounds, they played five top eight sides including top two teams Gordon and Hepburn and felt the power of these clubs in some big losses.
For Batten, key position players are on the list of needs in the off-season, to go with the development of the young list already at his disposal.
"There was a lot of improvement from a lot of the young guys, which is good to see," Batten said.
"Hopefully they can keep on in that upward trajectory and they'll just become really good, established senior footballers."
Batten has signed on to lead Ballan in 2022.
1-10, 9.09 per cent games won, 24.98 traditional percentage
Dylan Wright (13)
Round one: bye
Round two: defeated by Clunes 5.8 (38) - 15.7 (97)
Round three: defeated by Learmonth 6.5 (41) - 17.24 (126)
Round four: defeated by Daylesford 5.6 (36) - 11.13 (79)
Round five: defeated Carngham-Linton 16.7 (103) - 10.7 (67)
Round six: defeated by Waubra 4.4 (28) - 18.9 (117)
Round nine: defeated by Springbank 2.1 (13) - 20.17 (137)
Round 10: defeated by Newlyn 1.5 (11) - 21.16 (142)
Round 11: defeated by Buninyong 4.3 (27) - 12.10 (82)
Round 12: defeated by Gordon 2.4 (16) - 42.26 (278)
Round 15: defeated by Hepburn 2.7 (19) - 29.20 (194)
Round 17: defeated by Creswick 2.3 (15) - 9.16 (70)
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