The Gayndah community was splashed with Gladiators colours.
The Gayndah community was splashed with Gladiators colours. Adam McCleery

Long and hard road to victory

GAYNDAH Gladiators senior rugby league coach Rob Linskett has been apart of the club for three decades and in that time has witnessed grand final victory, heartbreak and the collapse of the club.

Now in 2017, ten years after the reformation of the Gladiators Football Club, Linskett and other dedicated members of the club have witnessed another Grand final victory.

"It didn't really sink in until we left the ground and arrived at the pub and started talking with some of the supporters,” Linskett said.

"I spoke to one supporter who played in the 1983 team and all he had to say was that it was about time.”

Having been a dedicated club man for so many years Linskett felt the heavy weight of what the team achieved at the weekend.

"It is something you dream of, to win something like this and I had Shane message me to thank me for letting him be a part of it,” Linskett said.

"But my response to that was we started the journey together ten years ago when we reformed the team and this is what we aimed for.”

The Gladiators had an almost perfect first half in the grand final, mirroring their almost perfect record for the season.

"That first half was just about picture perfect,” Linskett said.

"I think we only dropped the ball one time in the whole first half, completing sets like that makes it very hard to lose the game.”

The commitment of the Gladiator players in training all season long played a massive part in the teams success Linskett said.

"Especially those last few weeks the boys were really switched on for it,” Linskett said.

"We talked about whether we won or lost we wanted to walk off that field with our heads high knowing that we played our best and the best team won.”

Linskett said he talked to the team pre game about the significance of the Gladiators badge on their jerseys, what it meant and the importance of the players that represented it before them.

"I wanted them to realise what that symbol means, everything that it represents and to play from the heart,” Linskett said.

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