Diggers to play in memory of Neil Jones
THERE will be a sombre start to the Gympie Diggers' first division match tonight as the side pays tribute to former player Neil Jones.
The club will hold a minute silence before the match to honour the popular teacher, player and coach who died of an unexpected heart attack, aged just 52.
Diggers will use its memories of Neil to motivate players for the match against Caloundra at One Mile.
The Gympie boys will be fighting back after an unfortunate draw against Coolum last Saturday.
Manager Darren Mitchell said last week was disappointing.
After leading 2-1 until the final minute, Diggers scored an own goal to finish two all with Coolum.
Mitchell said although Caloundra may have a different team this year it would be interesting to see their standard of football.
Last year's team convincingly defeated the Gympie side in the Football Federation Australia Cup.
Centre-back Nathan Nolan returned to training this week after being forced to watch from the sideline with a calf injury last Saturday.
Striker Adam Cross will also make a return from injury.
Mitchell said Percy Cash, after playing well for the division two side last week, would return to his position as left-back in division one today.
"Last week soft goals were poorly defended but with Nolan back he should be able to strengthen the backline," Mitchell said.
"On the day it will depend whether we are mentally up for it," he said.