TUSSLE: Wests' Travis Baxter fights to keep possession against the Panthers.
TUSSLE: Wests' Travis Baxter fights to keep possession against the Panthers. Callum Dick

Promising win for Panthers

Football: After a tough start to the second-division season, Nanango Panthers finally found pay dirt in their 2-0 win over Wests at the weekend.

Following an off-season of change that saw a number of players move on and a host of new faces move into the senior competition, stand-in coach and club president Damien Walters said the win was proof his side was improving.

"We've got a really young team this year, a lot of them have only just come up from the junior ranks,” Walters said.

"A win is always good, it'll give them that bit of confidence they need. We hadn't put the ball in the back of the net for the first three games, so I'm hoping it will give them confidence going forward.”

Walters put the two-goal win down to changing his formation, after the 4-4-2 of previous weeks had not worked.

"We changed the shape to a 4-4-3 to try and hold up in the middle of the field a little more,” Walters said.

"The three up front gave us the chance to hold it a little longer and get back to making something out of our attack rather than just defending.

"(Nanango) seemed to adjust to it, we handled the changes really well.”

The Panthers' younger brigade finally looked up to the rigours of senior football on Saturday but Walters knows there is still a lot of improvement to come.

"It's a fairly big adjustment to come from juniors to seniors,” Walters said.

"The biggest change they've had to make - and will have to continue to make - is learn to fight for the ball more. No one will just give you the ball, you have to go and get it yourself.

"Hopefully they found that out on the weekend and we can hang onto (this form) for a little while and make a bit of a run.”

One shining light this season has been the form of centre-half Mitchell Deweers, who Walters said deserved credit for his consistency in defence irrespective of the scoreline.

"He plays the full game for us each week in the back line, which is pretty tough when things aren't going your way,” Walters said.

"He's the stand-out player for us each week - he's always been really strong at the back - and when he's doing his job well it's easier to build the team around him.”

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