NORTHERN Jets coach Josh Avis says the club are disappointed but have accepted their omission from the revamped Farrer League finals series.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing statewide lockdown forced AFL Riverina to make some some tough calls on finals structures within their four competitions.
The biggest development was a change from the traditional top five structure in the Farrer and Riverina, to a two-week top four system.
The change meant the fifth-placed Jets were left out.
It was to be the club's first finals campaign in five years and Avis said he and the club were naturally disappointed but understood the difficult nature of the situation.
"I suppose we're just accepting it is what it is," Avis said.
"When we're in times like this, it doesn't really matter what decision they make, it's going to annoy, it's going to affect someone.
"I spoke with Simon (Gaynor, Jets president) on Sunday and whilst we're disappointed by it, we're of the opinion we were happy that we got to play footy this year at least. We got our whole home and away season in, we had a pretty good run.
"Obviously we reflect back and go if we win one or two more games that puts us in the top four and we're in finals."
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Avis admitted the chances of a season finish happening ease his disappointment somewhat.
"To me personally, while I'm disappointed I'm not sure they're going to get it in," he said.
"That's probably what doesn't make it as disappointing, it helps, because I go it's probably not going to happen. I'm not sure there is going to be a 2021 premier.
"I think it will just be we got footy, that's where we finished and we move on. It probably eased the disappointment I suppose."
Avis is in the process of working out his coaching future with the Jets.
Not only is he happy with their return to the top five, but he is most proud of the shift in culture at the Jets.
"Looking back, we're really happy with not just necessarily our on-field stuff but where our culture is," he siad.
"We've gone from when I first started playing at the club in 2018, we had quite a lot of travellers and blokes coming from here or there whereas now we've been able to hold onto and maintain a lot of our juniors and we've got that real local base.
"We were talking when Canberra went into lockdown and we thought you know what, that doesn't really affect us. We were really happy with that, but not only that but we've got a really good culture, everyone likes being around each other, everyone enjoys each other's company and it makes it easier when you hit the training track. No one's whinging, no one's complaining, everyone's buying in and wanting to put the hard work in. We're not doing it necessarily for themselves, they're doing it for their mates.
"It's been really pleasing and having those kids make that transition. Our last game we played we had eight or nine players under 20. To have those young kids making the transition to senior footy, as the year on they've grasped the concept of playing a role really well.
"That's probably been the most pleasing thing. We've had good buy in, a great vibe around the club and it's now transitioning into footy, which is always pleasing."
Avis was confident the Jets weren't just making up the numbers had they been involved in finals either.
"Our footy goal was to make finals, make the five, obviously the decision changes that a little but in reflecting we were happy to get to the five," he said.
"That is what we wanted to get and we really locked that in a month ago. To do beyond just making it, and do it really comfortably, was good."
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