Miners stamping authority in 2012
THE Gympie Miners football side has had a dream start to 2012 and sits on top of the Sunshine Coast ladder.
The Miners' faithful say this could the best chance the Gympie Miners have of taking their first premiership.
New head coach Jim Ambrose agreed and said apart from a two-week period three years ago, the Miners had never been on top of the strong Sunshine Coast competition.
He said the girls' surge in 2012 came down to a few factors. The first was the addition of some quality players to the line-up.
Players like Alexis Tramacchi, Julie Hadzic, Kacey Kidd and Ash Hamilton - some of whom have returned to Gympie after playing away - have boosted the talent pool, as well as mentoring the younger players.
"It's not only what the girls add to the side in ability on the field, it is the inspiration they give to the other girls," Ambrose said. "When you walk on the field with a high- quality player it lifts you a bit as well."
The second reason is last year's young Miners have stepped up a level and the new young players have hit the ground running.
Ambrose said debutantes Elise Hornsby, Lauren Bentley and Hayley Silver were only 16 but had to play well due to a lack of numbers in the side.
"We have a squad of quality players," Ambrose said.
"The whole team is quality; there are no weak spots in the side; it's strong in every position."
The third reason is fitness.
Ambrose had the girls start training early and the extra effort was now paying dividends.
"We started training fairly early, the start of January," Ambrose said.
"The early start has given us fitness and the ability to go the distance in tight matches.
"We have worked a lot on passing and movement at a high tempo to bring the fitness level up higher."
Ambrose said the only thing that stood in the way of the Miners and a legitimate shot at a premiership was injuries.
"The only thing that will stop us is a lack of players through injury," Ambrose said.
"We haven't lost anyone for the season so far. We have a couple struggling with niggling injuries that we need to manage."
Last Friday night Gympie beat Buderim 4-2 after being down 2-0 at half time.
Two goals to Ella Flack and one each to Julie Hadzic and Ashleigh Hamilton saw the Miners score four second-half goals. This Friday the Miners play Caboolture in Caboolture.