FOOTBALL: Sunshine Coast Football have said they will assist Gympie with player and coaching development in a bid to build the new Gympie United Football Club as a competition force in the future.
Sunshine Coast Football (SCF) chairman Chris Dunk said he has high hopes for Gympie but no specific concessions will be given to the new Gympie team.
"No concessions at this stage and I'm hoping with Gympie now playing as a united team from the Gympie Competition, that we'll see them be a force in our competition,” Dunk said.
"SCF would also like to invest in Gympie by assisting with player and coaching development for the future.
"As just mentioned, by improving coaching in the Gympie area, local players will develop and make Gympie a force in our competition in the future.”
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Dunk said there are big things predicted for football in the region, with the sport administration celebrating a milestone on the Coast.
"I believe we're in for a great season, especially as Sunshine Coast Football is celebrating its 50 year anniversary,” he said.
"There will be lots of opportunities for players, past and present, clubs and spectators to celebrate our achievements and get together during the season's fixtures.
"We also have a new media partner, who will present a first class coverage of our Premier Men's matches.”
Coolum come back into the Sunshine Coast Premier League after a stint away from the top flight.
Football Queensland has also introduced a state-wide second division, known as the Queensland Premier League, with The Sunshine Coast Wanderers added as the new kids on the block.
"Coolum is back in the competition so we'll be going with a ten team competition, which keeps us in the lead as far as football codes go on the coast,” Dunk said.
"Plus the fact that we have the (Sunshine Coast) Fire playing in the NPL and the new Sunshine Coast Wanderers playing in the second tier QPL.
"With Australia playing in the 2018 World Cup, next year is looking very promising.”
Dunk said the Sunshine Coast Premier League will also feature a reshuffle.
"We're going back to two rounds, 18 games, but with a "Four Round Sunshine Cup” competition to precede the fixtures, it gives all clubs/coaches to fine tune their teams,” he said.
"There'll be two groups of five, each team plays every weekend with a team from each group playing across their pool.
"After three rounds the teams will all play off; 1v2, 3v4, 5v6, 7v8, 9v10 and with 1v2 playing for the Sunshine Cup.”
Pressed for a prediction of the upcoming season, Dunk favoured the teams who are riding high on 2017 success.
"An early prediction: Noosa will be the team to beat with Beegees and Kawana also in contention,” he said.