AFL boss Gillion McLachlan has told SEN’s Whateley he believes the Suns’ crisis will not be long term and has backed the cellar dwellers to bounce back to become a stronger club.
McLachlan has openly stated he is “not in denial” over the Suns’ position and has cited a number of reasons for the poor on-field efforts of the Suns.
“This is the club that is there for the long haul, they are doing their job in terms of growing the game up there. They are going through a time period, there’s no doubt about that,” McLachlan told Whateley.
“They’ve had huge runs of bad luck.
“I think when we set the club up when you looked at year four when they were 8-3, crowds were strong with a great stadium.
“But after that it’s been decisions, injuries, bad luck and here we are.”
The Suns haven’t qualified for the finals which is the opposite to fellow expansion club GWS, who have been involved in September on the last three occasions. Both clubs have also lost a lot of their protected draft picks to Victorian based clubs due to a number of reasons mostly circling around players wanting to be close to their families.
Challenges involving the Suns and the difficult market they work in are clear for all to see however McLachlan remains confident that fortunes for the club will turn around in the near future.
“They have been successful in what they have achieved in interest at grassroots, participation has grown. They’re just not playing well and they’re on the bottom of the ladder,” he said.
“It’s a tough environment … a couple of mistakes and you get punished for a long time.
“History says if you have the right people you can get yourself out of it. It will turn.”
Stuart Dew as coach and Mark Evans as CEO have been very strong on club culture and the standards expected at the club. After four rounds, Gold Coast looked like they had turned it around being 3-1 but now sitting 18th and after three horror results including the Crows dismantling them by 91 points has again questioned the club.
The Suns are expected to ask for a first-round priority pick and a loss to Carlton will likely relegate the Suns to another wooden spoon and bottom five finish.