Lake Macquarie Dockers coach Tom Croft said the club was taking a long-term view by remaining in the Black Diamond Cup for the rest of 2018 despite failing to register a win from the opening 11 rounds.
Croft hopes his players will be “rewarded” in the future following last week’s vote to stay in the region’s top-flight Australian rules competition rather than returning to second division less than a year since being promoted.
“It was a hard meeting to have because some people wanted to go down and some people wanted to stay up,” Croft said.
“But at the end of the day we made the decision and we’ll work hard to finish off the season.
“We’ve got a very young side and hopefully they can stick around and play first grade together.
“We’ve started planning for next year already and hopefully, one day, they will be rewarded.”
Lake Macquarie have the option to drop their reserve-grade side and Croft said the Dockers would strongly consider that following this weekend’s bye.
“First grade have the bye this weekend, but reserve grade play,” Croft said.
“We will re-assess after that and go from there.”
Adding to the club’s injury woes was fullback Clayton Beck, who broke his leg in Saturday’s 151-point loss to title holders Terrigal Avoca.
“Every clubs goes through it, but we’ve got about 20-odd players out at the moment and Clayton [Beck] added to that on the weekend,” Croft said. “So it’s only got worse.”
This campaign, Lake Macquarie have lost eight games by 100 points or more.
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