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The Gold Coast Suns have reminded the AFL world of what the underdog shinboner spirit is all about after an astounding come-from-behind victory on the weekend, with only 18 Number 1 Draft Picks left on the field at the last siren.
This comes as the Suns sunk the equal last West Coast Eagles in a 107-104 point thriller on the coast yesterday.
Yet in the dying moments of the exhilarating contest, it wasn’t the priority draft picks included in the AFL’s 3-year assistance package given to the Suns that made the difference.
Nor was it the No 1 draft picks they had received from their numerous wooden spoon finishes of previous years.
It definitely was not the mid-first-round picks or first picks of the second rounds that they received on top of those other things that got them over the line, either.
And before anyone asks, it was in no way, shape or form the expanded academy player access, various regions as an academy zone, the ability to pre-sign academy players without bidding, or the increased rookie list of up to 10 extra players compared to other teams that were on show out there on the weekend in their classic win.
It was just good old-fashioned shinboner spirit that got the unsung heroes the four points.
Just a rag-tag bunch of knockabout journeymen gettin’ around each other out there bleeding for their club singin’ the song with all their hearts.
And AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan could not be happier for them.
“They’ve costed us an unbelievable amount of money over the last 10 years. Not just in lost ticketing revenue, but advertising revenue, TV ratings and more broadly, the hideous reputational impact they’ve had on the game,” McLachlan said.
Asked how he responded to criticism that the AFL’s unprecedented assistance package was patently unfair, the stunning brunette shook his head.
“We had to do something. I mean, during the spicy cough season when no fans were allowed into the stadiums to watch games, the Suns’ crowd numbers were actually up on the year before. That’s how bad it was.,” he said.
To get a proper sense of the elation and rapture of the Suns’ latest victory, the Advocate’s Victorian correspondent immersed himself amongst the swarming masses of beautiful people frolicking along the promenades of the jewel in Australia’s coastal crown, the Gold Coast.
Though many comments were made, one sporting fanatic summed up the sentiment of all present by saying; “Yea nah well I’d say the Gold Coast Suns did a good job if I knew what bloody sport you were on about, mate.”
The QLD native then walked away from this reporter in disgust, muttering under his breath for mask-wearing Victorians to go back to where they came from and other related insults.