Gisborne is taking promotion to FFV state league 4 west in its stride.

According to coach Danny Ciantar, the Sky Blues are keen to continue the progression they’ve made.

“The boys are up for it and they will be competitive,” he said.

“We want to consolidate and finish mid-table. Everything else is a bonus.

“The last thing you want is to go up and then go straight back down.”

Ciantar said a number of juniors were coming through the system, part of the long term goal of the club.

“We’ve had an influx of juniors who have started this week.

“We’re hoping in the next three to five years we can be playing third division football and we can keep the 14, 15, 16-year-old players who are coming through.”

Ciantar said the senior team had been working hard as it prepares to step up.

He said they had been on the track since early January with good numbers at training.

“If we get everyone on the park … we will be right.

“We’ll be stronger than last year.”

Ciantar said they had added half a dozen players, who have all played at higher levels, who will strengthen the side.

“We’re looking at these guys and they are coming along nicely. We’re starting to gel.”

It’s been a busy pre-season for the Sky Blues with three practice matches so far.

On Saturday, they played their first match of the FFA Cup against Springvale City.

Springvale got the jump early on, with two first half goals to lead 2-0. It was a closer second half, but the Sky Blues were unable to find the equaliser, losing 3-2.

Matthew Biles, in his debut for the Sky Blues club, was the goalscorer.

Before the match, Ciantar said they were going in under strength with several players unavailable or out with injuries.

Among those missing was Jake McIntyre, who finished second in the state league 5 west goalscoring last year.

Ciantar said McIntyre should be right for the start of the FFV season.

“With so many players out and a lot of new guys it will take some time. As long as we’re ready for round one.”

Sunbury United will be among the teams that enter the competition in round two.

Sunbury last week announced it had signed American Stefan Perri. Perri plays centre back, right back and right winger positions.

MORE FFV NEWS

Westside Strikers promote a ‘raring to go’ philosophy