Gold Coast Suns

Power Dominate Suns in Historic Shanghai Clash
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Troy Thompson reporting for AFANA from Melbourne

The AFL would have been hoping for a close, exciting match to display the best of the game to their new Chinese audience.  Unfortunately their worst fears were realized when the Gold Coast Suns appeared to not be up for the fight.  Port Adelaide dominated the match from start to finish, running out 72 point winners in the historic clash in Shanghai.

Lachie Whitfield, Officials Suspended
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by Lisa Albergo reporting ofr AFANA from Chicago 

GWS midfielder Lachie Whitfield has been suspended for six months for breaching AFL rules and "conduct unbecoming or prejudicial to the interests of the AFL". It all stems back to 2015 when club officials Graeme Allan and Craig Lambert arranged for Whitfield to spend several nights at Craig Lambert's house, supposedly to hide out from drug testers for fear he would fail the test. At the time, Whitfield was only 19 and Lambert was employed as the welfare officer. Also, at the time, Whitfield's then girlfriend notified the club that Whitfield was taking drugs.

Expansion Teams: Finals Success and Failure
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Up until 1986, there were only 12 teams in the then VFL (the name changed in 1990), comprising the original teams from 1896 as well as Hawthorn, Richmond, Footscray (now Western Bulldogs) and North Melbourne being admitted later (see our Footy FAQ for more history). West Coast v Sydney, Grand Final 2005, photo copyright AFANA.All these teams were based in Victoria, seven in Melbourne and the Cats in Geelong (just an hour's drive west of Melbourne). In 1987, the league decided to expand their horizons in an effort to spread the game.

Eagles Subdue Suns
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia

The Gold Coast Suns’ last visit to Domain Stadium was early in the season when they defeated the Dockers. Their trip west this time was much tougher. The injury depleted Suns knew they were in for a tough game and West Coast were at full strength. An Aboriginal Dancer leaves the ground after performing during indigenous round. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.The pregame featured celebrations of the aboriginal tradition of Dreamtime as it was Indigenous Week in the AFL.

ASADA May Reopen Bock Case and Heppell To File Suit
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

In 2010, former Essendon high performance manager Dean Robinson was employed as the fitness coach at the fledgling Gold Coast Suns. Stephen Dank was also there for several months on a "handshake agreement" until dismissed just prior to the 2011 preseason. Adelaide's Nathan Bock also joined the Suns as an uncontracted player at the start of the 2010 season after 113 games with the Crows. During his time with the Suns,

Suns Rise in the West
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by Chris Kowald, reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia

The Gold Coast Suns seared a stunning victory into the aging skin of the Fremantle Dockers and won for the first time at Domain Stadium. Gary Ablett handballs clear of the pack Round 2, 2016. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.In what captain Gary Ablett described as his young team's greatest win, the Suns withstood the Dockers' early pressure to win the game with a powerful second quarter. The much anticipated battle between Ablett and reigning Brownlow medalist Nat Fyfe became a minor consideration.

Player Moves Around AFL
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After the Round 23 game, Gold Coast's Harley Bennell was involved in an undisclosed incident which saw him issued with a "public nuisance" notice.Harley Bennell looks upfield for a teammate during a Round 7, 2015 match. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA. It was the final straw for the Suns who have announced that he will be traded. Bennell has had a number of off-field issues, not the least of which was the publication of photographs of him apparently indulging in illicit drugs. The pictures were from a 2013 trip but were only published in the newspapers in June this year.

After this latest incident, a series of meetings were held between club officials, coaching staff, the leadership group and Bennell's management. CEO Travis Auld issued a statement confirming the decision to dump Bennell was unanimous.

Thanks For The Memories
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

St Kilda forward Adam Schneider announced that the Round 22 game against Sydney would be his last. Schneider was originally drafted by Sydney and played 98 games and kicked 99 goals for the Swans 2003-2007 as a small forward and occasional midfielder. Collingwood player Martin Clarke races Adam Schneider to the ball. Round 21, 2007. Image by Derrick den Hollander for AFANA.He played in the Swans' 2005 Premiership and the losing Grand Final in 2006. He was traded to St Kilda at the end of 2007 along with teammate Sean Demptster. Schneider played a total of 228 games and kicked 259 goals. He played in the 2009 losing Grand Final side as well as both Grand Finals in 2010. Schneider had struggled with injuries in the past three seasons and was delisted at the end of 2014. The Saints added him to the rookie list for the 2015 season, but he was elevated back to the senior list ahead of Round One.

Gold Coast Drug Underbelly Exposed
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by Lachlan Hellyer reporting for AFANA from Toronto

Photographs of Gold Coast Suns star Harley Bennell allegedly using illicit drugs in a Launceston (Tasmania) hotel room have been leaked to the press. Another Gold Coast Suns player confirmed to the club he was with Bennell on the night, though no photographs of him have been circulated, and his identity is not currently known.Harley Bennell looks upfield for a team mate earlier this season in an AFL match. This development comes in light of allegations made by disgraced former teammate of Bennell’s, Karmichael Hunt, that as many as 12 Gold Coast Suns footballers joined him for an end of season cocaine binge in 2014. The names of the players implicated by Hunt have not been made public. The images of Bennell, reportedly taken in March 2013, are a stark reminder that the AFL’s fight against illicit drug use is more serious than they may have been prepared to admit. The formative years of the Gold Coast Football Club will be forever tainted by its association with Karmichael Hunt. That is not to say that a Gold Coast player who took cocaine or any illicit substance is not entirely responsible for his actions. We are all just prisoners here of our own device, as the great Don Henley once sang.

2015 Mid-Season Review Part Two
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By Lachlan Hellyer reporting for AFANA from Toronto

(Ed: note: Our newest contributor, Lachlan Hellyer, will be reviewing the Aussie rules season thus far in a three part series over the "bye rounds" of 11, 12, and 13. He will take a look at the progress each team has made to the midway point of the season. This week, part two, with six more teams: Collingwood, Essendon, Fremantle, Gold Coast, St Kilda and Sydney have this week off. This is their season so far.)

Collingwood
Win/Loss record: 8-3

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