Gympie Gladiators' fate decided
GYMPIE'S four football clubs have voted unanimously to move to the Sunshine Coast Football Competition next season.
Diggers, Columbia, Lions and Golden City had to decide on Wednesday night between a move to the Coast competition or Wide Bay.
The Gympie United Gladiators play in the Sunshine Coast and a move into the Wide Bay competition would have seen the end of the Gladiators.
Football Gympie president Joel Albion said there would be a lot of work to make the move to the Sunny Coast but it was necessary.
"Competitive players will all be Gympie United, which are U13s and up; from U12s down will continue to play in Gympie for either Diggers, Columbia, Lions and Golden City," he said.
"We are happy with the outcome and personally it's a good step forward for football in Gympie."
The move is seen on par with other sporting codes in Gympie and could open doors for players.
"It is a step in the right direction and Football Gympie is moving with the times. It is following the other codes like league, AFL or hockey who play on the Sunshine Coast as Gympie," Albion said.
"If our sides play in Buderim and the Sunshine Coast Wanderers coach happens to be there and likes one of our players, they could be a scouted. Which is something we haven't had access to before."
"The pathways are a lot more accessible because of this move."
Despite not having local finals played in Gympie, Albion said he was pleased the Gladiators would remain.
"We will have to apply to host the finals but it is about growing the game and not just one day," he said.
"There are only four or five clubs who have the field size to host finals and Gympie is one of those clubs and what's to say down the track we don't host the finals.
"Last off-season there was a lot of work done to get the Gladiators and reserves moved into the Sunshine Coast competition and we will be looking at women's and girls' sides."
Albion said the move had to be approved by Football Queensland.
"We will have to apply to Wide Bay to allow us to leave the zone and then formally contact Football Queensland to sanction the move," he said.
"They (Football Queensland) have to approve the move, they will have the final say."