READY TO GO: New Cats coach Brett Thompson is hoping for a prosperous new year.
READY TO GO: New Cats coach Brett Thompson is hoping for a prosperous new year. Tom Daunt

'Grass-roots footy' caught new Cats coach's eye

AUSTRALIAN RULES: Meet the man tasked with taking the Gympie Cats to new heights in 2017.

Southport stalwart Brett Thompson will make the move from the Gold Coast glamour club to Gympie in an attempt to "get back to grass-roots footy.”

With the Cats making the announcement earlier this week, Thompson and his assistants are busy preparing for the upcoming season after an under-performing 2016 left the club with unresolved performance issues.

The Cats will make the step up to the Wide Bay conference this season and officials are hoping that Thompson's appointment will give the side enough substance to match it in the prestigious league.

Based at Cooloola Cove, Thompson was commuting to the Gold Coast for the majority of 2016 as part of his assistant coaching role at Southport.

Recognising a need to be involved with his local community, the Sharks hall of fame inductee said he was excited to be involved with Gympie.

"It's all new,” Thompson told The Gympie Times.

"It is back to grass-roots a little bit but I am looking forward to that.”

Thompson is not putting any undue pressure on himself or his squad, but with an emphasis on development on and off the field, Cats players can expect a fresh feel around the club next year.

"It is not all about footy,” Thompson said.

"It is about how we can turn players into something better.”