Player of the Week: Meet Gympie's answer to Sam Kerr
FOOTBALL: It's been a landmark debut season for the Gympie United Gladiators women so far, and wonder striker Sam Bradshaw has been a key reason why.
Since starting the season on the wing, Bradshaw has found frightening form in front of goal, well and truly asserting herself as Gympie's answer to Matildas World Cup ace Sam Kerr.
- Week 1: Patrick Harris (Gympie Cats - AFL)
- Week 2: Rohan Polley (Gympie United - Soccer)
- Week 3: Josh Hunt (Brothers - Rugby League)
- Week 4: Matt Pearce (Gympie Devils - Rugby League)
- Week 5: Sam Bradshaw (Gympie United - Soccer)
With nine goals from 10 games so far to help the Gladiators control their own destiny in the finals race, Bradshaw is the latest local athlete to earn The Gympie Times Player of the Week plaudits.
It's a positional change squad coaches Adam Cross and Joel Albion made, and now all three are reaping the rewards.
"I play wherever our coaches feel I'm going to be best utilised and we're fortunate to have the depth of talent in our side to be able to do that,” Bradshaw said.
"We're playing Caloundra this week and I'd love nothing more than to be able to emulate my four-goal haul from last time we played them.”
The Gladiators will have needed every bit of Bradshaw's brilliance in front of goal if they were to overcome Caloundra on their home turf on Friday night.
Their second-placed opponents sat two games clear of United going into the contest, and a win would have given the Gympie girls a fresh shot of confidence entering the finals.
Bradshaw deflected much of the praise for the season's success to her teammates.
"I couldn't be scoring goals if I wasn't being played amazing balls, and credit must go to my amazing teammates,” she said.
"Our goalkeeper Ness Weaver is one of the best in the league and it all starts from there. She gives us great confidence at the back.
"(We had) a bit of a slower start to the season. We were a new side having never played before and we were in a new competition. We're now in the final round before the top four teams go through to the finals and we're feeling good. "We've got a great side and having now played 11 games together, we're gelling a lot better as well.”
Send your Player of the Week nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.