There was a healthy sense of optimism heading into the season for Sebastopol.
A new co-coach, Narelle Perkins, was on board, juniors were ready to step up, and fresh faces were welcomed into the group.
But, change demands one thing - time.
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Veteran co-coach Georgia Cann expected as much.
"We've got quite a new team, so just taking our time to settle into new combinations is going to be really important. We're going to need to be really patient in the way we play those early rounds to get ourselves into the groove and figure out how each other plays," she said on the eve of round one.
A two-goal loss to East Point, followed by the bye, was an anticlimactic start.
A win against Melton on the Burra's return sparked belief, before a tense loss to North Ballarat plunged them back in the red.
It was tough but ultimately expected. One month down, now the Burra were ready to charge, a team united.
A gritty three-goal win against Lake Wendouree evened the ledger before a rout against Darley started a run. Not even the season's first COVID break could stop the momentum; the Burra returned from three weeks off with a 24-goal win against Sunbury.
A subsequent loss to Redan was only a slight setback before wins against Bacchus Marsh, and Ballarat closed a remarkable block.
Between the COVID breaks, the Burra won three of its four games. After 10 rounds, they sat fifth; three wins clear in a finals place.
Unfortunately, there would be no grand end to the season - a 14-goal loss to Melton South drawing the curtains on 2021.
Its end should not define what was a formative year for the Burra. With a new-look group settling and young guns on the rise, the future looks bright for Sebastopol.
5th, 6, 4, 28pts, 109.65 per cent
Rd 1: def by East Point, 36-34
Rd 2: BYE
Rd 3: beat Melton, 46-54
Rd 4: def by North Ballarat, 51-44
Rd 5: beat Lake Wend., 32-35
Rd 6: beat Darley, 36-52
Rd 7: beat Sunbury, 58-34
Rd 8: def by Redan, 38-49
Rd 9: beat Bacc. Marsh, 29-50
Rd 10: beat Ballarat, 45-44
Rd 11: def by Melton South, 33-47