Sunbury muscles up to share the points with Diggers
JOSH Linwood sure has some good young talent at his disposal.
Jacob Chapman, another gem Sunbury has unearthed this season, has established himself as one of the most promising youngsters in the Fraser Coast League.
Chosen to play a marking role to combat dangerous Gympie Diggers striker Dion Egden on Saturday night, the 16-year-old didn't take a backward step, impressing in the 0-0 away draw, which all but guarantees the Blues a spot in this year's finals.
Linwood, coach of Sunbury, said Chapman was starting to reap the dividends after a tough initiation to his time in the premier division.
"He's probably been the best player in the comp in the last five weeks," he said.
"He's tough as nails, really quick and listens to everything you tell him.
"He had one game early this year against Doon Villa and he marked Joel Neilsen who scored two goals against him.
"I said to him that you can't leave your man in first division otherwise he will punish you and since then he hasn't played a bad game."
Chapman set the tone for the rest of Sunbury's defensive unit, which kept the Diggers scoreless for the first time this campaign.
But the result could be interpreted as a moral victory for the Blues, who played the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Hayden Bedford was sent off.
"The whole year our defence has been excellent and really stood up," Linwood said.
Sunbury faces United Warriors next week before finishing their regular season with a local derby against Doon Villa, which they will most likely meet in the opening week of the finals.
Linwood said they would treat both games as a prelude to the post-season.
"Even when we won four premierships in row we never finished any higher than third. The boys, and the club, once it gets to the finals all seem to lift," he said.
"It all comes down to guts, determination and pride; if you have those three things then anything is possible."