HUDDERSFIELD Rams might have missed out on Aussie Rules’ AFL Britain Central North West Division grand final.
But stalwart Neil Morrison believes it’s still been a season of progress for the Lockwood Park club, who have had five players selected for both the England and Great Britain squads.
Club founder Karl Haigh, Danny Armitage, Jason Battye, Ali Delooze and Matt Whiteley are the men in the frame for international action.
Great Britain take part in a seven-day European Championship tournament in Denmark in August, while England aim to win the EU Cup for the third year running in Italy in October.
Haigh and Armitage were members of the England team who triumphed in Croatia last year while Morrison was a member of the coaching panel.
Morrison, the only Australian involved at the Rams, who were founded in late 2008, is also coach of the Central North West and Northern Division representative team.
They produced bright performances to reach the final of the Brit Cup held in Southampton, pushing the strong West London Wildcats side hard before losing out (2-5) 17 to (1-3) 9.
They had shocked the Aussie-rich capital team by beating them earlier in the tournament, and also defeated the Welsh Devils, Reading Kangaroos and Putney Magpies.
The Rams went into their second season boosted by success in the pre-season National Carnival at Portsmouth.
And they produced some solid displays only for their grand final hopes to disappear with a (12-10) 82 to (9-6) 60 defeat by Manchester Mosquitoes in their final match.
Manchester, unbeaten throughout the season, will now take on Nottingham Scorpions in the big showdown.
Sheffield Thunder and Wolverhampton Wolverines were the other teams involved, with teams from Birmingham, Hull, Oxford and Peterborough due to join up next year.
Huddersfield were Central Division champions in their first season, but Morrison believes a restructuring of the UK set-up made the competition stronger.
“Manchester are a really well-established club with a strong team, so I think we can take some satisfaction from pushing them hard,” he said.
“I think the standard of footy has certainly got better, and we’ll be working hard to raise the bar for next season.
“We’re still a young club, and we’ve come on in leaps and bounds, and the boys can see the rewards to be had from hard work on the practice ground.
“We’re proud to have so many players involved at international level, and it will be really interesting to see how they go.”