But Van Gylswyk, more than anyone, knows it’s far too early to get excited.
“We’re finally back there again. I’ve been with the club, it will be 50 years in two years. I was there when we last went to nationals in 2010. Then a whole bunch of the boys retired all at the same time and it left me hanging. It’s taken time to rebuild,” added the veteran coach.
“I’m not one to get cocky. Yes, we have a nice team, but there’s a long way to go.”
Gorge is coming off a 3-2 win over the V.I. Wave as Van Gylsywk’s crew improved to 4-0-1 for 13 points, just ahead of Bays United at 4-1-0 for 12 points. Those top two teams collide tonight at 7 at Hampton Park.
“I’m very happy with the start and we still have players who haven’t joined us yet, out travelling, in my captain Cam Stokes and Morgan Johnson,” Van Gylswyk said of waiting on his two veterans. “When they get back it will make us that much stronger again.
“All the new guys are on board. We’re all fighting for the same things and, so far, it’s been fun.”
Change has been welcomed by Gorge FC who benefited from the addition of a pair of players from Westcastle, which was relegated to second division, in Jordan French and John Shaw. Three Vic West players were also interested in a change and approached Van Gylswyk, who gladly accepted Jared Atchinson, Drew Brittain and Aaron Murphy aboard.
Dominic Colantonio also came over from Saanich Fusion.
“He’s been a beautiful addition to the team,” Van Gylswyk said of the former UVic attacking midfielder.
Goalkeeper Iain Walker is another addition and he has recorded three shutouts as Gorge FC has allowed just three goals in the five games. Two of those three goals came last week as V.I. Wave’s Matteo Ventura found the net twice.
Bays United is coming off a 3-2 loss (their first of the young season) to Nanaimo United as Thomas Anderson, Anthony Schamber and Meshari Alabbasi provided the offence for the winners. Michael Moon and James Rhodes were the Bays scorers.
Vic West (3-0-2), Cowichan FC (3-1-0) and Nanaimo United (2-1-2) round out the top five.