Momentum continues grow for Gisborne Soccer Club.
While its senior men’s side has dropped down a division this season, the Sky Blues will field an extra 10 junior teams this year due to massive growth.
For president Carl Valeri, it’s another sign that they are heading in the right direction, despite not necessarily getting the results on field with the senior teams.
“We had 40 kids come through and are about to start training,” he said.
“We were expecting this amount of growth and we had prepared for it after the end of last year.
“We’ve spent so many hours looking to improve everything. It looks like it will be a good season.”
On the senior side of things, the Sky Blues have locked in new coaches for both their men’s and women’s side.
The men’s side, which have dropped down to state league 5 west, will be coached by Carlos Grande.
Valeri, who took over coaching the side last year after the coach departed, said they had looked to bring former players in to try and help the club take that next step.
“Carlos has stepped up as has Chris Borg,” he said. “We want to give these guys a chance to coach at Gisborne.
“We’ve got some new recruits come across and we’ve looked to add to the depth of the team, while still being a pathway club and still pushing players through.
“He wants to get the best out of each individual.”
Valeri said while it was disappointing to be relegated, they knew last year was always going to be a tough season.
He said going down gives them a chance to rebuild.
Cameron Emery has come in as the women’s coach. Valeri said they had lost some players but would look to build again.
Gisborne men’s first official match is this weekend in the Australia Cup.
The Sky Blues drew Sunbury United in the first round, in a match up that has piqued the interest of many.
Several players have played for both clubs, while Sunbury coach Danny Moore used to coach Gisborne.
Valeri said it’s a match they are looking forward to which will be played at Langama Park on Saturday at 2pm.
“It’s exciting as we’re both in the similar area,” he said. “I messaged Danny straight away.
“I will be playing on the day, it will be exciting.”
Valeri said overall, the view of the club this season hasn’t changed, with a focus on making Gisborne a place where people want to play soccer all the way up.
“How do we change the mentality that they want to become senior players?” he said.
“We want people to play for Gisborne and give them an outlet for them. We want to make it the best place for football.”