English football star to oversee Gladiators' survival
FOOTBALL: The man tasked with taking Gympie's first season as a united club to new heights in the Sunshine Coast division one competition is former English football star Kyle Nix.
It will be the 31-year-old's first season at the helm of a top-flight organisation after making the transition to coaching from a professional playing gig at Thailand club PTT Rayong.
He represented England as a 16, 18 and 20-year-old before landing contracts to play in Manchester United and Aston Villa youth teams.
Gympie United completed their first formal session under Nix on Tuesday, with Football Gympie president Joel Albion saying Nix's signing was a massive endorsement of the organisation's potential this year.
"He is the real deal,” Albion said.
"He wants to see football in Gympie improve.
"To have him with the references he has is just massive,” he said.
Football Gympie underwent the biggest overhaul in the association's history last year when it announced they would withdraw Diggers from the competition in favour of the Gladiators.
Albion there is an element of pressure on both Nix and the players to get the job done on the field.
"Supporters want to see results,” Albion said.
"We are outlaying some cash so there is pressure to perform.
"There are 10 teams in the competition and we would be looking for a top five finish,” he said.
The Gladiators will also field a team in the Sunshine Coast division two competition.