Sunbury United is confident of avoiding a third straight relegation this year, putting its faith in youth and hoping for some strong results in the second half of the year.

United hit the mid-year bye in ninth spot on the Football Federation Victoria’s state league 3 north-west table, with four wins and two draws from its 14 games.

“Before our loss in the last game I think we’d collected 10 of a possible 12 points in a month of football, so that shows we’re on the right path,” coaching director Greg Czapnik said.

“We’re obviously not where we want to be, but we’ve had significant change around the club with personnel and structure and these things take time.”

The club merged its senior and junior clubs in the off season, and appointed Lino Grech as coach from National Premier League club Pascoe Vale.

Czapnik said the club had prioritised its youth this season, and it would be a little while before the true benefits were seen. “Being such a young team it takes time; they’re inexperienced and don’t take all their chances,” he said.

“We create so much, and we’re playing a really good brand of football, but these kids are on a learning curve and I think it will pay off.

“It was a significant change to the club and we’ve given opportunities to play senior football to some young men who wouldn’t get that at other clubs in the NPL system.

“Every one of those young men will be better players for the opportunities we give them, and that’s the goal for us.”

After only scoring in three of their first nine games, the goals have flowed in the five games leading up to the break, with 12 goals showing the potential of this player group.

Czapnik said if they can stay together and continue to improve they will be a force in coming years.

“For us it’s about taking our chances,” he said.

“We’ve played some really good football against most sides, so if we could convert our chances we’ll score a bagful.

“The guys are getting more confident each week, and there’s eight games to go so we have to keep that momentum we had before the bye and run with it.”