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Matthews says Suns assistance is ‘demoralising’

The Gold Coast Suns have been thrown a lifeline from the AFL Commission.

The club has approved an assistance package after the club requested special assistance in a meeting in August.

AFL legend Leigh Matthews told David Morrow and Mathew Thompson that the news is, “Demoralising for the sport and the Suns, they need all the assistance they can get.”

Matthews worries that the Suns will have issues with long term plans with the club after losing star players to other sides such as Tom Lynch and Dion Prestia.

“Whoever comes into the Suns unit, the question is ‘can they keep them for a career.”

“They need help if you’re going to keep going,” said Matthews.

The package includes:

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.

Image: Chris Hyde / Stringer via Getty Images

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