Armidale City Westside's re-introduction to first grade soccer got off to the perfect start.
In the opening round of the inaugural Sport UNE Football League season on Friday night, Westside managed to deliver a second-half demolition to East Armidale.
Scores were locked nil-all at half-time before they blasted four goals to none in the second stanza to claim the round one win.
"We were a bit nervous in the first-half. It was nil-all at half-time but once we got back into the sheds and had a talk about some basic instructions, they were able to get out in the second-half and deliver on that," coach Anthony Gray said.
"I just couldn't be prouder of them."
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Gray was also thrilled with the clean sheet.
"We have set up this year our structures not to concede goals because obviously if you want to win games, you can't be letting them in," he said.
"That is a big focus of ours; to work from the defence forward and they delivered that."
Competing in the top grade this year is a big step up for the young team.
They'll face hardened players with a lot more experience but Gray is doing his best to ensure they have the mental toughness to compete with seasoned teams.
"That is what we addressed at half-time on Friday night," he said.
"They were doing physically, technically and all that kind of stuff but that mental focus that we had to bring to them in the second-half."
As the teams who played previously in the Northern Inland Premier League found out, there is a lot more physicality in senior soccer.
"As much as people say soccer is a non-contact sport, there is still plenty of contact that goes on," Gray said.
"A lot of our players have come out of juniors without that physical contact and then they are coming up against guys in their mid-20s or early 30s that have been around a long time so they know how to use their physical advantage.
"The older you get and the more you understand the game, you get pushed a little bit and you can push a little bit back. They are all things that you have got to learn as you grow as well."
They'll have the opportunity to test their mental toughness again when they face Belgrave Cup winners and former Premier League team South Armidale this Saturday for round two.
"We have Souths this coming weekend so that is going give us our best measure of where we are going to be at in the competition," Gray said.
"I have got faith in them that they are going to be competitive. Technically and physically, they have all the necessary skills and components, it is just we have to get their heads there as well and put a bit of faith in them."