UNSW Football Club president Robin Chan has good reason to be happy. His is a club on the rise - looking to recapture their glorious form of the 1990s and 2000s and he is steering the ship in the right direction to do just that. 

With three rounds remaining in the regular season, the men's NPL4 team are sitting at the top of the ladder, while the women's NPL2 team have bounced back from a tough couple of years and are sitting comfortably in the middle of the pack. Chan puts this down to a more strategic approach to coaching that the club has rolled out recently.

"Gabriel Knowles (men's first grade coach and club technical director) has probably had a big hand in that, it's mostly down to him and the coaching team that we've got in place," he said. "We identified what it was that we needed to do to get UNSW back to where we needed to be.

"The coaching team we have with Gabe and what they focused on in terms of our game plan, our style and basically, I think we were a bit kind of we didn't have enough organizational structurein  place prior to that and now we have a philosophy, a vision of what we want to do on the pitch and off the pitch and that's coming together nicely at the moment."

The club has also worked really hard to improve its culture off the field and bring the club together more closely. Chan acknowledges the challenges of doing this in an environment where they are fielding 14 teams across a wide range of grades and ages, but believes they're heading in the right direction in this area too.

"I think we've come on in leaps and bounds with it to be honest," he said. "I think in the past, it was probably a bit of a line drawn between the men's and the women's. And now that we've got kind of one person overseeing it, in Gabe, with the committee working closely together. It's probably a lot better than it has previously been.

Now our operations and team managers all are in communication with each other in terms of how they run game days with sharing a lot more information. We also promote different days where we have our men's team support the women's teams and women's team support the men's team. I think we've built on something that was a little bit lacklustre and we're still pushing forward with that."

UNSW FC men's team playing a game
The UNSW FC men's team are sitting on top of the ladder in NPL4 this season and are powering ahead. Photo: UNSW FC

While promotion and relegation are off the table for this year, due to the strange nature of the season, Chan has his sights set on promotion for both teams in the next few years as the club continues to build.

"With the men's we definitely want to be playing in NPL2 in the next two to three years," he said.

"In the women's there is a bit of a gap between NPL1 and NPL2, but I don't think we're far off it. So in the next three years, I'd love to see promotion for both men's and women's into at least the next tier above."

With the ongoing strength of the club, a motivated and visionary leadership and the pathways on offer for junior players to move into senior competition and combine football with university studies, there is no doubt that UNSW FC are in an excellent position to achieve whatever goals they set for themselves in the next few years.