It's out with the old for Gympie football
GYMPIE Football is rebranding its premier representative club team, with a new entity to represent the whole of the united Gympie Football family.
Gympie United Football Club will replace the Gympie Diggers in the Sunshine Coast Premier Division from next season.
The Diggers also play in the local Gympie league, alongside Golden City, Lion and Columbia.
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Gympie Football president Joel Albion said the team, known as the Gladiators, would bring together the football family under a unique entity.
"From here, we are branded now, we want to get it out and about,” Albion said.
"The four different club colours have gone into the badge, representing the four existing Gympie clubs.
"We want the clubs to grab hold of it and embrace it, because this is where we are going.”
Albion unveiled the logo, designed by local designer Aaron Lodder.
"He did a terrific job,” he said.
Albion said the new club signalled the direction of Gympie Football, with a pathway filtering players from the local clubs into the team and then beyond.
"It's sort of tricky I guess, at the end of the day we want to maintain these four clubs and we don't want to take away from them,” he said.
"We want to provide a pathway for players to go through so they can go where they want to go.
"It's all about providing that pathway to higher levels.
"That's the whole idea of Gympie United.”
Gympie football has always had a strong player base but perhaps struggled for an identity, and Albion said he wanted the team to represent all of Gympie.
"The other thing we are trying to do with Gympie United, is: because it is only a first and second team we will have a limited supporters base, so we are looking to create a supporters club from among the football community.
"We'll have scarves, beanies, stubbie coolers and things like that.
"And it's for anybody who wants to feel a part of it.”
Albion said he planned to have all four Gympie clubs provide junior small-sided games for half-time entertainment at United games, just like in professional competition such as the A-League.
"At half-time we will have all four clubs provide a small- sided team to play and promote that United feel,” he said.
The Diggers struggled in the Sunshine Coast Premier Division last season, with a lack of coach being the achilles heel.
Albion said the new club was already working with locking in a reputable coach who had played professional football.
"Coach wise, I'm hoping in the next two to three weeks we will have one,” he said.
"I'm having a conversation with one now and I don't want to jinx it.”
Albion said he wanted the new coach to work across the region in building football.
"He'll work with local kids and clubs, rep teams, and schools,” he said.
"He currently does the same sort of stuff down the Coast now.
"He's a football person who loves the game, and that's what we want.”
Genuine coaches are at a premium and Gympie has suffered from a Coast- centric mentality, luring professionals out of Gympie's reach.
Albion said he hoped to implement coach education so Gympie could develop its own pool of skilled coaches.
"If we can get a bit of a program going where we get our coaches to develop, that would be amazing,” he said.
"Part of the plan is to get some of the guys in our firsts and seconds coaching some of the juniors.
"Our head coach, whoever that will be, will have some input into that.
"Hopefully down the track, we will be able to provide ourselves with a coach from here, and we won't have to go outside then.”
Albion said he also planned to lure teams such as Brisbane Roar to Gympie for pre-season friendlies, to stoke to football flame.
"We've had them play here before, back when Craig Moore was playing,” he said.
"We've got the best facility on The Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay. We would love to host them.”