The Gold Coast SUNS has welcomed the AFL Commission assistance package provided to the club.

Chairman Tony Cochrane acknowledged the support of the AFL Commission and Executive in recognising the assistance provided.

“The Gold Coast SUNS welcome the commitment and support of the AFL Commission and its Executive following the confirmation of the assistance package outlined this morning. The SUNS are excited by the challenges that lay ahead, and we look forward to delivering for our players and members in the future,” Cochrane said.

Chief Executive Mark Evans gave an insight to the club’s presentation to the AFL Commission in 2018 & 2019.

“Twelve months ago, we presented to the AFL Commission and detailed our strategy on the long term reset of our playing list, football department and programs. In particular we detailed our strategies to secure high-end draft talent over multiple seasons and to complement this by attracting mid-career players of quality,” Evans said.

READ: AFL outline assistance package

“In August we updated the Commission on the progress of this strategy and asked for the AFL to consider some elements with the current system that are impacting our current predicament.

“Having updated the Commission on the progress of many of our programs we take great confidence from the support we have received, however they too identified we required assistance to give our program the stimulus we know we need.

“The Gold Coast SUNS commitment to building the club properly remains our priority and we are determined to deliver a football club that our players, staff, members, fans and wider Gold Coast & Queensland communities can be proud of.

“As a result of the assistance outlined today, from a list point of view our absolute focus is the long-term list build which prioritises recruiting top end elite talent. Our list management team will now turn their heads to how we best use the assistance provided to capitalise on this in 2019 and beyond.

“Off the field we can add further resources to our football program in line with our strategy, ensuring our players and coaches are surrounded by the best possible people and programs which will have a positive impact on retaining and attracting players.”

The AFL Commission determined the Gold Coast SUNS will receive the following assistance package:

Priority Picks
The provision of draft picks for the next 3 years (reviewable annually), including the first pick in the 2019 AFL Draft.

  • Pick #1 and first pick of the second round (currently pick #20) in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.
  • Mid-first round pick (currently pick #11) in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft
  • First pick of the second round (currently pick #19) in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft.

Academy Access
The Gold Coast SUNS will also receive expanded Academy player access for 3 years including:

  • Provision of the Darwin region as an Academy zone.
  • Ability to pre-sign Gold Coast SUNS Academy players (including those from Darwin) without bidding.
  • Increased rookie list, up to 10 players

The AFL will also continue to provide support through operational and strategic services.