The Wellington Phoenix are on the march.
It's been long time since anyone could say that, but a 2-1 win over Newcastle is a promising start to this campaign.
It's just the second time the Phoenix have won their opening game in 12 attempts, and was the perfect start to coach Mark Rudan's reign.
The Australian has been reluctant to make any big predictions ahead of this campaign, but he has regularly promised "100 per cent commitment" from his team.
That was what they delivered, and the intensity of effort, a generous slice of luck, plus the conditioning and organisation honed in pre-season, achieved this outcome.
Unfortunately this victory will be overshadowed by more VAR controversy, as technology driven decisions ruled out a Phoenix goal, then gifted the Wellington side a penalty.
Both were highly debatable, at best.
The Phoenix's intentions were clear from the start. Mark Rudan set up a five man defence, though wing backs Liberato Cacace and Louis Fenton had licence to get forward in possession. In front of them sat Alex Rufer and Spanish import Mandi Sosa, an extra shield in front of the central defenders.
It meant the Phoenix struggled to get a flow in possession, especially in the first half, as the hopeful ball forward was often the only option.
It wasn't always pretty to watch, but given what the Phoenix have been through in recent seasons, that probably doesn't really matter.
All the fan base want, as a starting point, is a team that will work hard for each other, and not fall apart at the slightest hint of pressure. That's what they got.
The first Phoenix goal in the 33rd minute was against the run of play, but also a reward for their effort. The ball skimmed off Jets' defender Daniel Georgievski's head and past Glen Moss, after Steven Taylor had directed a Sarpreet Singh free kick back across goal.
Before that the best chances had fallen to the visitors, with Jets forward Jair wasting one and Matt Ridenton missing a good opportunity on his return to the capital.
Roy Krishna went close off a Fenton cross in the second half, as the Phoenix started to get more possession in the final third, while the Jets pushed forward in search of an equaliser. The Phoenix were unlucky not to extend their lead just after the hour mark, after Singh bundled the ball into the net from a close range rebound after a misdirected David Williams shot. It was initially ruled a goal, but after VAR intervention the referee judged the ball had touched Singh's arm, as well as his torso. It was a marginal, though probably forensically correct call. It hurt though, especially as Williams should have done better with his original effort, but directed his shot well wide of the target.
Phoenix goalkeeper Filip Kurto tipped a Nigel Boogaard header spectacularly onto the crossbar to keep their lead intact, before a foul on substitute Mitch Nichols allowed the referee to find a penalty, via VAR. It was dispatched by Krishna at the second attempt, before a consolation strike from Dimitri Petratos seconds before the final whistle.
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Daniel Georgievski own goal, Roy Krishna)
Newcastle Jets 1 (Dimitri Petratos)