Gold Coast United midfielder Zenon Caravella believes the club has learnt plenty of lessons from their debut season in the A-League. The glitter strip club managed a third-place finish in their freshman year but fell short in their first final which they lost on penalties to Newcastle Jets.
With the club again sitting third this term, things are looking good for United who have adopted a slightly new approach after concentrating on attack last term.
"I think it is a matter of learning from the mistakes of last year; sometimes we were trying to attack too much last season and not really protecting a lead, and that's one of the big reasons why we're much more consistent with our results this year," Caravella told Australian Football Weekly.
"I think we're in better shape than last year, even though we're sitting third at the moment. We're in better shape mentally and we're really confident that we can achieve big things this year."
On the pitch, things are currently very positive for the Gold Coast but it is their poor crowds that continue to grab headlines. Caravella said that from a player's point of view, it was very disappointing to be constantly playing well in front of almost nobody.
"I can't lie; it's demoralising to walk out in front of such low crowds," he added. "There's not much we can do, the club has tried everything to bring the crowds in, and we're trying everything we can on the field.
"I don't know what the reasons are, but it is demoralising that's for sure.
"The core bunch of supporters that get there every week are awesome: they chant for us, and cheer, and bang the drum, but the cliché of supporters being a 12th man is very true and if you've got a big home crowd supporting you it definitely does help and motivate the team on the park."