United set high expectations

Tyrese Smith-Grant has joined Sunbury United. (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Tara Murray

Sunbury United is seeking more consistency this FV state league 3 north-west season as it seeks to improve on last season.

United finished in seventh spot in its first season under Danny Moore and showed when it played well it could match it with the best in the competition.

But at times, Sunbury found itself unable to make the most of opportunities and it proved costly.

Moore said they had clear expectations heading into the season.

“Consistency is the key for sure,” he said. “I think this year our mantra is we want to demand more out of each other as a group.

“We want to finish in one of the promotion spots, it’s the clear expectation “We want to work hard.

“If we do the same as last year, we will get the same outcome.

“We want to put the foot down.”

Moore said they had managed to keep the bulk of the group together from last season which would be a big thing going forward.

He said they had looked to add to the attacking end.

We’ve kept the bulk of the squad together and added some new faces in,” he said. “It’s really helpful and makes it easier with gelling the group.

“We’re focusing on getting the new players in and how to optmise how to play with each other and focusing on having a cohesive team.”

Among those joining United is Jason Hayne who won the league best and fairest with Heidelberg Eagles last season, former United junior Harry Thompson, striker Reno Damianou, another former United player Jake Zomaya and Tyrese Smith-Grant who played in the National Premier League under-23 competition last year.

Moore said they also had some depth within their squad.

“We’ve got a big focus on bringing through some younger players from the reserves,” he said.

“There’s half a dozen players who are in the mix to make the step up into seniors.

“They’ll be pushing and we’ll be encouraging it to happen more this year.”

Things have started well for United, with wins in its opening two Australia Cup games.

United started with a win against Gisborne before backing it up against Yarra Jets.

In the third round, United will face state league 4 west side West Point.

“I’m very happy, “ Moore said of the couple of wins so far.

“I would say in a playing sense, we’ve played competitive cup games where we’ve been solid without being spectacular.

“We’ve got the job done and done enough to progress. The league is our bread and butter and always focusing on the home and away season.

“The cup games are an opportunity to blend in new players and have that competitive edge with something riding on the line.”