After a tricky debut season in FFV state league 5 west last season, Gisborne has a better idea what to expect this year.

Gisborne made the move from the metropolitan competition to the state league competition last season and finished seventh in the table with two wins and two draws.

Gisborne president Rodney Smith said last season was an eye‐opener for the club.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” he said.

“The standard was really high and it was a strong competition. We learnt what we had to do to get better.

“We will be a better team than last year.”

Gisborne will enter the season with several new players, although Smith believes the club is another season away from being a good side.

“We have a lot of new players, some local and some pulled from Kyneton,” he said.

“The senior team is not that old and a lot haven’t played together.

“We have some good players but the question is whether they gel. “

Eric Greer will coach the side this season.

“Andy Hale had to step aside last season with about five rounds to go because of work commitments,” Smith said.

“Eric took over for the last five rounds and enjoyed it and he was happy to continue.

“He has coached us to a championship before and he has a lot of experience, both playing and coaching.”

Gisborne got its first proper look at its playing strength in the qualifying rounds of the nationwide FFA Cup on Saturday, when they lost 2‐0 to Cleeland United at Dixon Reserve.

“The result was a little disappointing, although we did have a relatively young and inexperienced squad and we were missing a few players,” Smith said.

“The same line‐up beat a Bendigo team 3‐2 a couple of weeks ago.”

Smith said the missing players were set to play in practice matches in the coming weeks, before the season opener against Keilor Wolves on April 2.