Sammie Sutton.
Sammie Sutton. Josh Preston

Gladiators skipper reveals secret behind winning streak

FOOTBALL: The Gympie United women's team hit their stride in the Sunshine Coast Football season with a 2-0 win over the Noosa Lions last Friday night.

Following on from a 1-0 Buderim victory in which squad coach Joel Albion said they played some of their best football, the Gladiators were looking to make it three consecutive wins after opening the season with three straight losses.

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The 2019 Gympie United Gladiators women's squad.
The 2019 Gympie United Gladiators women's squad. Josh Preston

Speedy striker Sam Bradshaw took advantage of Zoe Morrison's quality pass to put Gympie on top after a period of dominance which saw them continue pristine passages of link-up possession through the midfield.

Wingers Tiahni Webster and Tara Bartley "ran rings” around the Noosa defence as the Gladiators made good use of space and "hit the wide passages well”.

Captain and central defender Sammie Sutton was impenetrable once again, blocking Noosa's attempted attacking runs and leading a solid effort from the Gympie back four throughout the match. Bradshaw backed up her goal with a superb pass in the second half to Imogen Benstead, who converted to lock in another three Gladiator points.

Sutton said the side was "starting to gel a lot more” after a shaky start, and was reaping the rewards of learning from both Albion and fellow squad coach Adam Cross.

"We've been a very consistent team over the past three weeks, we've had the same 15 girls in the squad,” Sutton said.

"Our two sides train together as one team and we're really starting to gel and work together on the field.

"Having Joel and Adam coaching us is extremely beneficial, Adam's a fitness freak and runs us to the core at training, and Joel's got a really good strategic and tactical mind which helps us play smarter. I think it will give us the edge over other teams this season.”

Both women's squads sit fourth on their respective SCF tables after seven rounds, with a bye week coming up.

The Gladiator men face Maroochydore away from home on Saturday night after last weekend's match was washed out.