Prior to round one, coach Andy Cygan expected 2021 to be a tough year for Gunnedah FC in the Northern Inland Premier Division and while he still has that belief, for now he can celebrate an opening round win.
Gunnedah FC turned a 2-0 half-time lead into a 4-1 victory over South United at the Gipps Street Fields.
Eli Rankmore, Matt Davis, Mitch Harding and Blake Whitfield all scored goals for Gunnedah. Cygan said the win was "really pleasing".
"We defended really well," Cygan said.
"It's a little bit of a newer team. We've got two new strikers playing up there and they both did really well. We probably could have scored a couple more. They had a player sent off in the first half."
Along with getting a first win for the 2021 season, Saturday also saw the debut of Cygan as a goalkeeper in a competition match.
Cygan made the move down back after Gunnedah's 2020 goalkeeper moved to Newcastle while the club's reserve grade keeper broke his wrist at training and is unlikely to play this season.
"I've always wanted to be keeper so I'm happy to be there," Cygan said.
"Rob Pryor, our striker last year, had a knee operation but he said he'll play in goal. He played in reserves and I'll stick with first grade.
"As a coach, I'm able to dictate the side much better here than on the side."
While the first round win was pleasing, Cygan was expecting a tough year ahead.
He has just 25 players at his disposal for first and reserve grade with some losses expected.
"It will be a very hard year. We have a couple boys [Bruno Peroni and Aymeric Maillard] that are working at the solar farm project in Gunnedah and they're only here until the end of June. They are two of the best players we've had in a long time," Cygan said.
The other round one match saw Kootingal and Moore Creek fight out a 2-all draw while the OVA-North Companions game will be played at a later date.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: