By Oliver Lees
Attitude through adversity has been the focus of Gisborne Soccer Club coach Danny Moore, as his side challenges for promotion in state league 4.
Moore said he was proud to see the team come back strong with two straight wins after COVID-19 restrictions halted the season.
“First and foremost you have to have the right mindset,” Moore said.
“I believe in person before player, meaning the most important thing is to have the right mix.
“We had a period where we couldn’t play games or train as a full group, so we had to split up into regional and metro players and train separately.
“It’s a real credit to the guys, they’ve picked up where they left off before lockdown and I think that’s indicative of the belief in the group at the moment.”
Rounds 10 and 11 of the state league 4 competition were postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, as the league decided to play on from round 12 and reschedule those rounds later in the year.
In their first match back from the break, Gisborne outlasted Barnstoneworth United in a 2-1 victory despite a red card to Adam Gazic in the 80th minute.
Moore’s side then backed up that performance with a convincing 3-1 win over Melbourne University, as Jake McIntyre netted two first half goals.
Gisborne sat in third place on the table after that clash, just three points behind first place Laverton.
Their 2021 tally of seven wins, two draws and two losses is already an improvement on their 2019 season, where the team managed just six wins across 22 games.
Moore said the calm heads of his co-captains Matthew Hume and Jake McIntyre on the field had been important to the team’s success.
“They’re massive for the team in terms of their leadership qualities,” Moore said.
“Overall we’ve got a good mix of talented players that have the right character to get the job done.”
“In a football sense, we’ve had games where things haven’t gone to plan, but we’re finding opportunities to learn and those lessons are coming to fruition in games. As a coach it’s great to see.”
Moore praised the work of his striker Sean O’Callaghan, who has notched six goals from 10 matches.
“He’s a bit of an older head, he shows all the right qualities of someone who is an experienced leader in the group, creating chances and finishing goals,” Moore said.
This year Gisborne is aiming for its second promotion in three seasons, after moving up from state league 4 to state league 5 in 2018.
Sitting in third spot roughly halfway through the season, Moore said he’s confident his side can finish on top of the table and earn promotion again.
“We’ve played everyone except Westside and Truganina, and we feel that we’ve got it in ourselves to give any team in the competition a good shake-up,” he said.
“It’s in our hands at this point, I’m quietly confident we can pick up the points we need to get the job done.”