The AFL has today announced that the AFL Commission has approved an assistance package to be provided to the Gold Coast SUNS.

At the August AFL Commission meeting the Gold Coast SUNS presented an update on their Club performance and requested special assistance, as per AFL Rules, to enable them to deliver upon their football strategy. 

The AFL Executive then recommended a series of allowances to the AFL Commission that were ratified at the September AFL Commission meeting.

READ: SUNS welcome AFL assistance package

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.
It is important to note the assistance will be reviewed annually, and the AFL Commission reserves the right to remove future picks and / or academy access.

AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said it was the AFL’s view that a three-year support package was critical to providing a sustainable solution to the current challenges the Gold Cost SUNS are facing and to ensure many of the challenges of the past are not repeated.

“There is no doubt the Gold Coast SUNS have had enormous challenges throughout their short history and it is to the benefit of the entire competition that the SUNS are competitive,” Mr Dillon said.
“The AFL and football fans want a strong and even competition, and while the endeavour and intent can’t be faulted by the Gold Coast Football Club, there have been executional challenges along the journey that have impacted the on-field competitiveness of the team.
“The Club, led by Tony Cochrane and Mark Evans, will continue to build strength in the organisation and delivering on their football strategy is crucial to the club’s long-term success. The special assistance approved by the AFL Commission will contribute to this.

“While the package is set for three years to provide certainty to players, staff and the entire industry, the AFL Commission retains the right to remove future picks and / or academy access based on the club’s performance.”