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SUNS' fresh start begins

SUNS TV: Austworld Centre Launch GC SUNS CEO Mark Evans addresses the media on the launch of the naming of our Austworld Centre

Gold Coast CEO Mark Evans conceded Monday signified a huge shift in direction for the SUNS. 

Following a clean-out that started in August with Tom Lynch's decision to leave via free agency, Gold Coast now has a total of 24 new faces around its Carrara home. 

And there's more to come.

While top-10 draft picks Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine and Ben King are the faces of the fresh start, that's just the beginning.

All 13 new players, including the highly talented trio, were on hand for Monday's training session, joined by 11 new staff. 

Eight years after Gold Coast officially became an AFL club, this felt like a second start.

The SUNS will add three more staff to their player excellence department in the coming months, as well as another player to round out the list. 

"It's a very deliberate re-set transformation of the Gold Coast SUNS," Evans said.

"I don't think you ever have to go right back to Ground Zero, but it's fair to say there's a different strategy if Tom Lynch, in particular, decides to stay at the club. 

"With Tom and Steven May exercising free agency, or threatening it for next year, we decided we had to do something to break the cycle.

"It's not just people, it's about our programs as well and you'll see some massive transformations."

With Lynch, May, Dion Prestia, Jaeger O'Meara and Adam Saad among those wanting out in the past two years, Gold Coast has poured much of its attention into its welfare department.

They now have four staff – soon to be seven – to address the issue. 

"We intend to have the best club, bar none, in the AFL at what we do for players off the field," Evans said.

"Everything in life is a challenge, whether you come to the Gold Coast for the first time eight years ago to play in the AFL or you decide the previous system isn't going to work and you need to be bold.

"We've been very bold on this re-set and been very deliberate about what we're doing and I think you'll see some of these boys we've just drafted will make big names for themselves in this competition.

"Winning plays a part (in keeping players) but I'm yet to see when a player who is really invested in his coach and he's really happy with how his football is going, people don't often move. 

"If we can get to that position in the next 24 months we'll have done a good job.

"We look forward to proving our critics wrong." 

Evans also announced Austworld as the naming rights sponsor of the training and administration centre the club unveiled two years ago.