Aussie rules fans on Gold Coast ap­ply lo­tion to stop ... SUNS BURN­ING

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - ANDREW HAMIL­TON

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.

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