There’s a buzz of excitement at Sunbury United.
After being relegated for a second successive season, a new-look United side is heading into the FFV state league 3 north-west season with a positive attitude.
New coach Lino Grech said the players were determined about improving the side’s fortunes after a couple of poor seasons.
Grech said the side’s young players had nothing to fear.
“It’s a good bunch of kids who are in the 18 to 20 age group,” he said.
“I coached most of them in NPL under-18s and under-20s. They just needed some senior football and no one was willing to give them a chance [in the NPL]. They’re going to get the experience in state league and they’re enjoying the chance to play together. I don’t think they fear playing anyone.”
Grech has been happy with the signs they’ve shown in the pre-season.
United accounted for Keilor Wolves in a practice match and made it through to round four of the FFA Cup.
On Saturday, the team was knocked out of the FFA Cup by state league 1 side Mooroolbark, losing 2-1 in a gallant effort.
That came after a penalties victory in round three against another state league 1 side, Sydenham Park.
“Sydenham is a really good side,” Grech said. “We not only matched them, but we outplayed them for a good period of the time.
“We’ve got to keep playing our game and our style and I think we’ll be in with a good chance this season.”
Grech said Jayden Mercieca, Joel Grech and Daniel Sousa would be three players to keep an eye on.
The coach said they were targeting a state league 3 north-west top two finish.
“They’re some very talented kids,” he said. “I’m a little bit worried about them mixing it with the older, bigger sides, but they’re pretty much men themselves and they’ve handled it well so far. With some senior experience and a few games together they’ll get better.
“I’m looking for promotion and the players are looking at promotion as well. They want success.”
Grech said the buzz at Sunbury United went through all the club’s sides. He said a lot of work was being done on making the club more professional and making it run it like an NPL side.
United kicks off its state league season on Monday night against Williamstown at JT Gray Reserve.