Gold Coast GM – Football Operations Jon Haines believes the SUNS carry an advantage over other AFL clubs due to the layout of the club’s operational base.

The Austworld Centre currently has world-class facilities available to the players, coupled with extra training ovals, gyms and changeroom facilities available at Metricon Stadium next door.

It meant the club was easily able to segregate training groups prior to full contact training resuming on Monday, and Haines credited club staff for designing and executing the polished training program in line with the AFL’s return to training policy. 

“I think what we’ve seen is a really well organised and well planned out program from the coaching and high performance staff,” Haines told SUNS Media.

“Our facility lends itself to these sort of protocols to be honest with three training grounds and two gyms and multiple changerooms. 

“We’ve been able to actually plan it out really well and the coordination of it has gone really, really effectively.” 

The playing group on Monday had their first contact training session in over nine weeks, with Haines saying the plan was to take a progressive approach to build up the amount of contact work in each session.

It’s part of an overall strategy to have the players at peak physical condition for Round 2 against West Coast on June 13.

“The next two weeks are pretty important,” Haines said.

“We’ll ramp up and have a big session on Friday and next week as well, we’ll build through next week.

“Leading into Round 2… we’ll obviously ease off a little bit and make sure the playing group’s ready to go for that game against West Coast so we’re really looking forward to that.” 

The SUNS will restart the 2020 season with three games at Metricon Stadium before travelling to Geelong. 

Haines said despite the fact members and fans wouldn’t be able to attend, it was still a big win for the region. 

“Obviously we’d love to have a crowd there and be able to play in front of our fans,” Haines said. 

“But to have that level of football in Queensland and having West Coast and Freo and the two South Australian teams here as well is fantastic for the game, most importantly in South-East Queensland so we can’t wait.”