Aussie rules fans on Gold Coast apply lotion to stop ... SUNS BURNING
COMMENT FOOTY is flying on the Gold Coast.
The final three teams in this year’s QAFL premiership race were from the Coast. The Cup will reside on the strip for the third straight year.
I don’t subscribe to the opinion the Suns’ off-field troubles are because they are based on the Gold Coast.
Maybe it is because they are on the Coast but not part of it.
The desperation to lure a Chinese tourist to a game or convert a rugby league fan has come at the expense of building connections with the people that already love footy.
Palm Beach-Currumbin are into their second grand final and are starting to become a production line for AFL footballers.
In the past couple of years PBC juniors Jesse Joyce, Brad Scheer and Max Spencer have been drafted to the Suns.
Broadbeach have some gun kids and are pulling great crowds.
This week a Labrador footy club business breakfast at swank Surfers Paradise hotel QT was sold out.
The building blocks for a successful AFL side, which is always the grassroots, are there.
The Suns could do a lot worse than invite a director from one of these clubs on to their board.
At the very least they should form some sort of com- TOUGH TIMES: Steven May leading his dejected Suns from the field after another loss during the season. mittee to build relationships.
Alan Mackenzie represents NEAFL club Southport on the Suns board but the money the Sharks once pumped into local footy now goes to the Suns – they are a brilliantly run organisation but they’re not grassroots.
It is terribly sad that Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft gets abused when he watches his kids play.
He is an icon who should be revered but as the one senior Suns football administrator with Gold Coast links, he is the target for resentment at the way the AFL club treats local footy.
Anger still exists at the stunt a couple of years ago when the Suns sent a jumper to a club function to be drawn as a business card raffle and then used the cards to attempt to poach sponsors. In theory, the academy system and the NEAFL side provides brilliant opportunities for elite juniors.
In practice, in its infancy, it created bad blood.
Only recently under Andrew Raines and Jason Torney has the communication improved and bridges been rebuilt.
But there done. is more to be
Labrador premiership player Charlton Offermans recently turned his back on footy to take up a US basketball scholarship because of his frustrations at being shunted between the Tigers and the Suns’ NEAFL side without ever knowing where he stood.
The Suns can’t be expected to make draft promises to every kid in their academy but there must be a better way.