DESPITE starting the season with an eight player walk-out and the departure of a coach, the Queanbeyan City Football Club has finished fourth in the ACT State League and will play finals football.
Club captain Goran Milutinovic praised his side's new coach for the season, Zjmeiko Trakovski, for lifting the new-look side to remain as one of the competition's best sides, after it lost the experience of former skipper Matt Ryan, Vele Duksoski, and Pasquale Perre, amongst others to the Monaro Panthers.
This happened after a pre-season fall-out with the club's committee and former coach Ante Levanat.
Milutinovic said Trakovski's attitude towards the team and his welcoming environment encouraged players to keep performing well, which he believes is why they have still been able to play well despite the distractions at the start of the year.
"Fitness is obviously important, and that side of things he's taken seriously, and he knows in his head what he wants us to do as individuals, and the way he explains that to us is easy to understand," said Milutinovic.
"That's what we've played to."
"It hasn't really been a dramatic change...no matter which coach you get there's going to be fitness work...if players want to play at this level, they need to commit themselves."
Daniel Crkovski fell just two goals short of being the competition's highest goal scorer, tallying 16, while Chandar Shekhari Nair scored 10 goals for his men.
Nick Levanat and Milutinovic have also stood out this season, as well as a crop of young players.
"Having Danny Byrne in the team has been great for us as well. He's mentored the younger players, and even after a few games you could see they just had that extra confidence," said Milutinovic.
"Crkovski has stood out, but the whole team together has worked up to him scoring goals.
Milutinovic said their final against Weston-Molonglo at Hackett would be tough, and has called on his men to identify weaknesses in the match and adjust to them.
"It's good for both teams that we've only just played them a week ago. We know what our strengths and weaknesses are, but for us, we know what we need to do to win, and if everyone turns up and puts the effort in, we'll get the result," he said.