Gold Coast Suns Chairman Tony Cochrane has launched a passionate defence of his embattled club, saying they will survive and succeed in the AFL.
Numerous past players have feared for the Suns’ future after their 108-point loss to Greater Western Sydney, but Cochrane has scoffed at those suggestions.
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“All the external criticism, all the brick backs, keep throwing all the s--t you like at us,” he told SEN’s Whateley.
“I’m telling ya, we are going to survive. We are going to be a success. We are going to be a long term, proud part, of the AFL body of people.
“The reality is we have now got some very good people at our club. Finally. It’s taken a while, but we have got some very good people.
“The reality is we finally have a great TNA centre.
“We have moved back into our ground where we have lots of challenges with the state government about their fees and everything, but we will eventually win those things.
“You know why we have to win all those things? Because it’s important to our community.
“It’s really important to the Gold Coast community, who have had failure after failure in the sporting landscape, and that’s got to change.
“We are now a sophisticated city, 650,000 people and this has to work.
“If it takes a handful of blokes to stand up and make it work, then that’s what we got to do.”
While conceding “chronic errors” were made in the foundation of the Suns, and the team might need extra draft picks, Cochrane also highlighted the growing numbers of junior football in the area.
“On the Gold Coast, and in Queensland I might add, AFL is booming,” he said.
“At grassroots level, we only have one problem on the Gold Coast, that is we don’t simply have enough ovals.
“A lot of people making these comments on TV haven’t once come up, walked around our club, spoken to everybody, spent a day or two immersing themselves in what we are trying to do and then gone away and written the article or spoken on TV about our problems.
“The reality is the 10,000 juniors playing AFL on the Gold Coast. It’s impressive because 10 years ago, it wasn’t 800.
“We are winning the AFL battle in the long term.”
Listen to Tony Cochrane’s riveting chat with Gerard Whateley on SEN’s Whateley in the player below