Gold Coast’s four top ten selections from the 2016 NAB AFL Draft have made a statement, extending their playing contracts to four years in deals that will see each of the players remain with the SUNS’ until the end of 2020.

In an unprecedented first for the AFL, Ben Ainsworth, Will Brodie, Jack Scrimshaw and Jack Bowes, selections 4, 7, 9 and 10 respectively, have locked away their long-term futures on the Gold Coast.

The re-signing of the SUNS four top ten selections follows the announcement earlier in the week that 2016 SUNS Talent Academy graduate Brad Scheer had extended his playing contract until the end of 2019.

Ainsworth, 19 years of age, said that he and his fellow draftees were thrilled to extend their futures on the Coast.

“From the moment we were drafted, the club and the players have been sensational, so it’s no surprise we all have jumped at the chance to extend our contracts to four years,” Ainsworth said.

“The four of us have a close bond and we are rapt to make this statement together. We simply don’t want to be anywhere else. The Gold Coast is home.

“Before the five of us even arrived, including Brad Scheer, we were all great mates through the AFL Academy, and for us all to be drafted to the same club has made our transition to AFL all the more special.

“The club’s future direction is clear, it’s an exciting place to be, all our families and friends are on board and we want everyone on the coast to join us as well.”

SUNS Chief Executive Mark Evans, who credited List Manager Scott Clayton in brokering the deal, was thrilled to confirm the historic announcement.

“We’re incredibly proud to announce the contract extensions of our 2016 crop of draftees. For a club to have four top ten draft picks from the one year all extend their contracts to four year deals is something that has never been done before in the history of the game, and that sends a clear signal these players see their futures here on the Gold Coast,” Evans said.

“Each of them are outstanding young football players, and even better people, and we’re rapt to have them and their families on board.

“Their decisions to sign long-term deals speaks volumes for the football club and reflects the work our club, staff and players have done to ensure the SUNS and the Gold Coast is a desirable destination for elite players.

“Our future couldn’t be in better hands; with a new $22 million training and administration facility, strong leadership on and off the field, and team focussed on winning back respect, the Gold Coast SUNS are primed and ready for the 2017 season.”

Coinciding with this announcement, global headwear giant and international lifestyle brand New Era has come on board as the official headwear supplier of the Gold Coast SUNS. SUNS players, coaches and staff will be wearing a range of New Era headwear, all available to purchase in the SUNS Shop.