Seven wins from their last 10 regular season matches has seen Southern United storm into the Coastal Premier League Men’s finals as arguably the form team of the competition.
Only slip-ups to Coffs Coast Tigers (1-2) and Sawtell (0-2) have been the only losses the new boys on the block have registered since the start of July.
They put it all together on Saturday against an undermanned Macleay Valley Rangers to find the back of the net six times in their most polished attacking performance of 2022.
It hasn’t been without a few nervy moments along the way which saw them ride a rollercoaster of emotions as they jostled for spots in the top six.
“There hasn’t been many losses at all in the last few weeks so the form that we’re carrying now is good,” coach Jonathon Newman said.
“It’s where if you were wanting to pick how a team would go into the finals, it’s definitely like this.”
Part of the reason for their late-season surge up the ladder which saw the Ospreys qualify third has been consistency of players.
They’re getting players back.
“Saturday was the first time I’ve written down the same on-field 10 players from the previous week,” Newman said.
“I did have to change my goalkeeper, so it was the 22nd different starting XI that I’ve written down this year so we’re in a pretty healthy position now.”
And while the pre-season conditioning program took a little while to bear fruit, a slight adjustment to their attitude has also paid dividends.
Newman said his team now knows how strong the competition is.
“The guys are aware of the difficulty and the closeness of the competition where I think there was perhaps a bit of an attitude of ‘we’ll be right, we just have to show up and we should be able to get a result’,” he said.
“Those thoughts were well and truly dispelled after the first few rounds and now everybody knows we’ve got to stay in games from minute one to minute 90.
“Even when you’re in front you can’t rest on that.”
Roan Whitemann, youngster Tommy Elder, Mark Mallia, Reyne Black and Jarrod Naylor all got on the scoresheet against Rangers.
Newman felt a couple of their goals against Rangers would have caused problems for most opposition.
“Some of the combination play that set up a couple of those goals would have been difficult for any defence in this competition to cope with,” he said.
“The guys were pretty calm and relaxed with their finishes so it gives everyone a nice lift that we can score goals.”