Rising Gympie soccer star Sam Klein in a Sunshine Coast Fire shirt. Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times
Rising Gympie soccer star Sam Klein in a Sunshine Coast Fire shirt. Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times Renee Albrecht

TOP TALENT: Gympie's 7 best male soccer players

IT'S no secret that the Gympie region boasts a wealth of sporting prowess across the board, and there's no shortage of local talent pursuing the beautiful game played all around the world.

Check out our list of these standout Gympie lads scoring major individual goals, featuring a blend of emerging youngsters and established jets playing under ex-Manchester United youth player and Gympie United coach Kyle Nix.

Stay tuned next week for our list of Gympie's best women's players.

READ MORE: Gympie coach goes from Man United player to tumor survivor

Promising start to the season for Gympie United

Gympie United Gladiators coach Kyle Nix while playing professionally in England.
Gympie United Gladiators coach Kyle Nix while playing professionally in England.

SAM KLEIN

MORE: Klein named in Qld team

Klein and Hodgson are two sport stars on the rise

AT just 14 years of age, this Gympie young gun's future is unquestionably bright.

Sam Klein was kicking footballs around as soon as he could walk, and his passion has remained into his teenage years.

Early career highlights included schoolboys appearances for Queensland as an 11 and 12-year-old, with another appearance for Queensland rep at Coffs Harbour last year.

The former St Pat's student now boards and plays at Nudgee College to accommodate four training sessions a week with the Brisbane Roar Academy's under-15 side.

Playing in the National Premier League with the Roar this season, Klein previously represented the Sunshine Coast Fire in 2016 and 2017, and pulled on Gympie Diggers and Columbia shirts in the local league before that.

With professional ambitions on his mind, Klein got a good glimpse of the big time last year when he was invited to train with Norwich Football Club while on a brief visit to the UK.

Sam Klein has been a high level performer across a range of sports - here he is in cross country action last year.
Sam Klein has been a high level performer across a range of sports - here he is in cross country action last year. Tom Daunt

Jayden Davey goes high for the ball while playing for the Gympie Diggers.
Jayden Davey goes high for the ball while playing for the Gympie Diggers. Patrick Woods

JAYDEN DAVEY

STARRING ROLE: Grand final glory for Lions

THE current season is young, but young striker Jayden Davey has been a shining light for the developing Gympie United Gladiators so far.

Following a superb hat-trick against Woombye two weeks ago, Davey has netted four goals from as many games in 2018.

Described by coach and former Bradford City player Kyle Nix as a quality finisher with good versatility, Davey looks set to play a major role in the new-look Gympie side's Premier Men's League resurgence.

Gympie's Jayden Davey (maroon).
Gympie's Jayden Davey (maroon). Greg Miller

ELIGH WILLIAMS

Gympie's gun keeper set for glory

STAR goalkeeper for the Sunshine Coast Fire, Gympie product and Year 12 student Eligh Williams took a step closer to realising his footballing dream last year with a scholarship offer to The Southport School, one of the most prestigious sporting schools in the country.

Williams had pulled on the gloves for the Fire after rising through local ranks, saying the step up in competition had been good for his development.

"The Fire (experience) was extremely good,” he told The Gympie Times last year.

"The step up (from the local competition) was massive and it was a good challenge.”

Eligh Williams.
Eligh Williams. Tom Daunt

Liam Watson stands tall in defence for Gympie United FC.
Liam Watson stands tall in defence for Gympie United FC. LEEROY TODD

LIAM WATSON

First class team effort

A LEVEL-headed defender with good leadership qualities, Watson looks to be another of the rebuilding Gladiators' most important players.

According to Nix, Watson is "strong and solid at the back” and "talks well” with team-mates, forming a crucial on-field communication link.

With a valiant man of the match effort in the 2-0 loss to Buderim earlier this week, Watson will be another key figure for United's progress as the season continues.

Liam Watson in action for the Diggers.
Liam Watson in action for the Diggers. Leeroy Todd

DYLAN CORBET

TAKING ON THE WORLD: Eurotrip thrill for Gympie's 12-year-old soccer star

ANOTHER talented youngster, Dylan Corbet braved seven strenuous coaching clinics before being selected for a series of elite training academies across the pond in late 2016/early 2017.

Visiting and training at Manchester, Wolverhampton, West Ham and London, the teen said he was determined to "make it big” and work hard on his game as he continues to develop.

With the knowledge he gained from such an exclusive experience, Corbet is sure to be one to watch in future.

Dylan Corbet winding up for a kick.
Dylan Corbet winding up for a kick. JAMES LOOSE

Gympie United Gladiators Jarod Healy and Billy Bayldon model the new strip.
Gympie United Gladiators Jarod Healy and Billy Bayldon model the new strip. Renee Albrecht

BILLY BAYLDON

Bayldon provides strike power in Diggers win

EXCITING central midfielder Billy Bayldon has showed his scoring abilities already this season, bagging three goals from four appearances.

Nix pointed to Bayldon's abilities all over the pitch as his strongest trait, saying he knows how to get forward, defend and pick a pass depending on the situation.

If the Gladiators are to post wins and ascend the ladder this season, Bayldon will have to continue posting performances to the same standard he's shown to Round 5.

Billy Bayldon in action for the Gladiators.
Billy Bayldon in action for the Gladiators. LEEROY TODD

Gympie United Coach Kyle Nix says Jayden Davey, Liam Watson, Billy Bayldon and Cody Greaves have been impressive so far this season.
Gympie United Coach Kyle Nix says Jayden Davey, Liam Watson, Billy Bayldon and Cody Greaves have been impressive so far this season. LEEROY TODD

CODY GREAVES

A YOUNGSTER already representing the Senior Men's side, Greaves has shown his own versatility by playing both defensive and attacking roles down the right flank this season.

Having impressed his coach to this point of the season, Greaves will surely be looking to cement a senior spot for years to come.

Cody Greaves in action for the Gladiators.
Cody Greaves in action for the Gladiators. LEEROY TODD
Gympie Times


MEGA GALLERY: 103 photos from the Gympie Muster so far

premium_icon MEGA GALLERY: 103 photos from the Gympie Muster so far

Stay tuned to The Gympie Times as we bring you all the Day 2 action.

TOURIST FAIL: Parent tells child to pose with dingo for pic

premium_icon TOURIST FAIL: Parent tells child to pose with dingo for pic

It was one of 22 'threatening interactions' this month.

Dingoes 'being smuggled off Fraser Island': Expert

premium_icon Dingoes 'being smuggled off Fraser Island': Expert

Owning a Fraser Island dingo may not be as rare as you think.