The Moonee Valley Knights might be new on the Football Federation Victoria State League 5 scene, but they are confident of taking the league by storm in 2018.
The Knights put in a very credible performance in 2017, their first season in the FFV State League structure having made the move up from the VicSoccer Premier League competition, with seven wins and five draws from their 22 league games last season.
Despite that, the Moonee Valley outfit are targeting a big improvement next season and it made a huge statement of intent with the appointment of Keilor Park legend Anthony Sacco as senior coach.
Under his direction, Keilor Park's senior team completed an incredible rise through the State Leagues, going from State League 3 to State League 1 under Anthony's tenure, where the highly-respected coach established the club as a force to be reckoned with.
Anthony is hopeful of similar success with the Knights this season.
"The Knights approached me last year but I'd already signed with Essendon United, so when they got in touch again this year I went down and I really liked the people on the committee and their ambitions for the years to come," Anthony explained.
"I think the fact that they're at the beginning of their journey in the State Leagues was something that really interested me. It's a bit of a blank canvas and I hope that the experience I can bring to the table will help the club go to the next level.
"The people at the club are ambitious, but I think it's a healthy ambition and realistic ambition, it's not pie in the sky stuff and obviously we're hoping that we can get promoted sooner rather than later."
When such a respected figure takes over the senior team, players usually follow and already the club has seen over 40 players attend the club's earliest pre-season sessions, leaving the new coach extremely positive about the season to come.
Anthony said that he was hopeful the club continued to see such strong numbers at training, insisting that while he had a number of players he would like to bring to the club in mind, no one would be ruled out – no matter their age.
"For me, age is not an issue. Whether you're 17 or an older, more senior player, I'll work with anyone if they're prepared to give everything," Anthony said.
"I was lucky to work with a lot of talented young players at Keilor Park and I'd like to be able to do something similar at the Knights.
"I think to have 40 players at the first sessions, which was probably more of a meet-and-greet for me personally, was a great start and we're expecting more in the new year. Pre-season starts on January 9, so I'm positive about what we can do in the next season."