The beginning of Anchorman 2 sees the legendary Ron Burgundy scour the country in attempt to re-unite his team for another crack at the big time.
The crew succeeds in coming together, except this time under a new vision to conquer greener pastures and ignite the industry like never before.
A vision not so dissimilar to Gold Coast United.
The last three years have seen the club rise from the ashes of its demise to return operating, albeit at NPL level, with bold aspirations of re-entering the professional football landscape via both the A-League and W-League.
A new focus building towards embracing its community and laying strong foundations for future opportunities, has been one led by a new board and several familiar faces.
The club, like Ron Burgundy, put the call out and got the band back together.
Jason Culina, Shane Smeltz, Michael Thwaite and Kristian Rees – all former members of the club’s A-League squad – are some of the key figures driving the club’s rejuvenation and push towards the professional ranks.
Rees and Culina currently work as coaches – with Rees managing the senior team – while Smeltz and Thwaite line-up each and every week in the club’s NPL Queensland side.
Thwaite, 37, returned to the Gold Coast in 2019, having lived away from his family for two years after stints in China and with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The centre-back captains the club’s NPL Queensland side and believes the club’s new ”communally minded’’ approach will help it grow and achieve its aspirations.
”It’s done a lot better than when I signed here in 2009,’’ Thwaite told FNR.
”The reality was I think those teams, us and North Queensland Fury, were fast tracked in a political sense, especially with the previous World Cup bid. There was no real foundation set and we were just plonked there.
”A new board got together in 2018 and created a new club right through from the under eight’s to seniors – both boys and girls.
”We’re trying to establish ourselves as a really strong NPL club and focusing on what we can control in that sense. The board are really keen to push for W-League and A-League in the future, there seems to be a bit of funding behind them as well through the Gold Coast community here.
”The board are very communally minded…it’s a non-for-profit club and all the money is being invested within the club to get the facilities and with a real focus on the future.’’
Gold Coast United entered the Queensland NPL competition after a merger between Gold Coast Galaxy and Gold Coast Athletic saw the license reinstated in 2017, with the club finishing 10th and 7th respectively in its first two seasons.
Club president Danny Maher told FNR in January 2020 while the club would be open to entering via a second division, its preference is to ‘’immediately go back in the A-League.’’
Gold Coast United currently sits eighth out of 14 teams in Queensland’s NPL competition and hosts Capalaba on Sunday.