The winning combo to prove big for Gladiators this season

FOOTBALL: The Sunshine Coast Football men’s competition is kicking off today and the Gympie United Gladiators are bolstered with strength for this season.

A healthy mix of young and senior players, premier men’s coach Kyle Nix hopes his boys have what it takes to improve on last year.

The 2019 season had Gympie just outside the top four in sixth place with 29 points with eight wins, five draws and 10 losses.

“We want to be competitive and improve on last year and hopefully play finals,” he said.

“We want to turn the draws into wins and the losses into draws. We are a quality side and the reserves are showing some good signs.”

Gympie United FC v Palm Beach – Gympie players celebrate a goal. Picture: Shane Zahner
Gympie United FC v Palm Beach – Gympie players celebrate a goal. Picture: Shane Zahner

Despite being out of the FFA Cup, there were promising signs for the Gladiators and if that is anything to go by, the boys are going to be a force.

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As they take on Coolum today, they will be without their senior player, Joachim Klein, who was red-carded in the FFA match against Palm Beach last week.

Gympie player Joachim Klein is red-carded. Picture: Shane Zahner
Gympie player Joachim Klein is red-carded. Picture: Shane Zahner

Three years ago, the Gladiators would have struggled to fill the spot with a quality player. It is a testament to Nix with just how far the team has come.

“It is a shame to lose Joachim but we have the strength in the team to be able to cover his place,” he said.

“We have a good strong group of players who have the ability to play different positions if anyone is injured or suspended.”

Gympie United FC v Palm Beach – Liam Watson beats a defender. Picture: Shane Zahner
Gympie United FC v Palm Beach – Liam Watson beats a defender. Picture: Shane Zahner

Centre/midfielder Liam Watson was awarded the captaincy this year and after the success the team had under his leaders last year, he has the ability to take them potentially to the grand final

“He (Watson) leads by example and has got great ability which allows him play in different positions,” Nix said.

Gympie United Gladiators premier men’s captain Liam Watson. Photo: Bec Singh
Gympie United Gladiators premier men’s captain Liam Watson. Photo: Bec Singh

“He could be a future coach and it is good, especially for me, to have someone like that.

“He has been with us from the start, he is consistent with his training and in games and the lads respect him.”

Gladiators head south for their clash against Coolum today at Coolum FC Field 1 at 6pm.

Gympie Times


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