In just their second season of the National Men's Futsal SuperLeague, the freshly re-branded Bay of Plenty Surge have a point to prove.
Last season was a big step into the unknown, the first time Bay of Plenty had been solely represented on the national stage, having previously competed together with Waikato under the WaiBOP banner.
The Bay of Plenty side took a while to get going in 2018, claiming just one win and finishing bottom of the ladder. Meanwhile Waikato, who have been re-branded the Waikato Rapids this year, finished fifth.
Bay of Plenty coach Joe Dixon is confident his side have learned from last season and will be more competitive when their season starts this weekend.
The Rapids and Surge begin their summer campaign with a double-header home series against each other on Saturday and Sunday at Trustpower Arena in Tauranga.
"[The Futsal SuperLeague] is a great opportunity for players from around the region - we've got players from Whakatāne, Rotorua and Tauranga. It shows that we're opening up to the full region and using all out talented players.
"That will be a pretty big challenge for us, Waikato's starting line-up is pretty much all New Zealand players. For us, we're still the new guys on the block a little bit.
"Last year, we spoke about attitude being a big thing for us in terms of work rate and effort. This year, we have attitude and ability so hopefully the guys can step up and show what they're capable of."
Men's Futsal SuperLeague - Bay of Plenty Surge
We are the Bay of Plenty Surge. Watch us perform at the Men's Futsal SuperLeague Home Series against the Waikato Rapids. THIS weekend at Trustpower Arena, Tauranga. Game 1: 6pm on Saturday Sep 28. Game 2: 9am on Sunday Sep 29. #BOPSurge #ComingInHot #MFS A big shout-out to Play Creative for their expertise in crafting this movie.Posted by WaiBOP Futsal on Sunday, 22 September 2019
He said the decision last year to split into separate Bay of Plenty and Waikato teams would benefit both regions in the long run.
"Previously, the WaiBOP squads have been predominantly based out of Hamilton and we've got lots of talented players in the Bay of Plenty who had the opportunity to play previously but it was a challenge geographically.
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"It opens up more opportunities for Waikato players over there and more opportunities for Bay of Plenty players over here. We've found it's been really good so far."
One of the players who will be crucial to Bay of Plenty's success is Tauranga's Jay Silcock who said last year was "an interesting year".
"For a lot of us, it was the first time playing. We obviously came eighth and only won one game but the improvement we had was huge throughout the season.
"This season looks way stronger and everyone seems to have a fair idea of what's going on in the futsal world now. [The Futsal SuperLeague] is really competitive, it's really hard work.
"The team that I think are the most daunting are Auckland, Waikato and Wellington, they're the top ones. We have Waikato this weekend, it's a good rivalry because we're the team who split from them so if we could get a win it would be pretty cool."
Silcock has been playing futsal for two years. Previously an 11-aside player, he took up futsal as a way to get some football in during summer and to develop his skills.
"It's definitely fun playing indoors. I really enjoy the speed of the game, it's real quick and it's still quite an aggressive game as well, close contact. It's a good community as well with futsal, it's definitely a close community which is really good."
Bay of Plenty Surge:
Harris Edlin (Tauranga)
Tyler Ericksen (Tauranga)
Leo Pardini (Tauranga)
Santiago Gadea (Tauranga)
Ry Mcleod (Tauranga)
Diogo Ramos (Tauranga)
Dennis Esendam (Rotorua)
Joaco Reynoso (Tauranga)
Jay Silcock (Tauranga)
Andrew Cooper (Whakatāne)
Xavier Maddox (Tauranga)
Mario Vinicius Ramos (Tauranga)
Kelvin Cunliffe (Rotorua)
Sergio Fuentes (Tauranga)
Andrew Clothier (Tauranga)
Dominic O'Sullivan (Tauranga)
Vincent Phirun (Tauranga)
Vinie Azevedo (Tauranga)
Vincent Callister (Tauranga)
Ryan Foord (Tauranga)
Cameron Shennan (Tauranga)
Coach: Joe Dixon.
Assistant Coach: Mario Ramos.
Physio: Heinrich Mollentze.
Manager: George Manager.
BOP Surge's 2019 Men's Futsal SuperLeague fixtures:
Home Series: Trustpower Arena, Tauranga:
September 28: vs Waikato Rapids, 6pm.
September 29: vs Waikato Rapids, 9am.
Northern Travel Series: The Peak, Rototuna, Hamilton:
October 5: vs Auckland, 12.30pm.
October 5: vs Northern Comets, 5pm.
October 6: vs Northern Comets, 10.30am.
October 6: vs Auckland, 3pm.
National Series 1: Bruce Pulman Arena, Auckland:
November 9: vs Central, 12pm.
November 9, vs Capital, 7.30pm.
November 10: vs Southern United, 8am.
November 10: vs Canterbury United, 2pm.
National Series 2: ASB Sports Centre, Wellington:
November 22: vs Central, 12.30pm.
November 22: vs Southern United, 5pm.
November 23: vs Capital, 10am.
November 23: vs Canterbury United, 4pm.
November 24: Semi-finals and Final.