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Gold Coast Drug Underbelly Exposed

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.
Bennell Runs
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.
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Round 23 Farewells Part One

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Round 23 saw the curtain come down on eight more players: GWS defenders Josh Hunt and Stephen Gilham, Bulldog Daniel Giansiracusa, Sydney's Ryan O'Keefe, Magpie Luke Ball, Gold Coast rugby convert Karmichael Hunt and St Kilda duo Clint Jones and James Gwilt.

Josh Hunt began his career with Geelong where he played 198 games and was a key to their 2007 and 2011 Premierships. Hunt, 32, played a total of 13 games with the Giants since joining them at the end of 2013 to bring his game tally to 211. Hunt played in the 2008 International Rules series and Geelong's 2006 and 2009 preseason premierships.

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Suns Eclipse Tigers

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Tropical Cairns greeted a Richmond outfit with a genuine chance to lift themselves into the Top Eight with a win over a much improved Gold Coat Suns. A solid showing in Round 15 against reigning Premiers Geelong gave the Suns renewed hope that their first win of the season was just around the corner. The Tigers' hierarchy was anxious for a win in Cairns having lost the equivalent “home” game in 2011, giving rise to criticism of the three year package brokered by the Tigers to assist in funding a depleted football department. Gold Coast fans would have been well pleased to learn that in-form Tiger ruckman Ivan Maric was a late withdrawal due to groin soreness.

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Swans Sign USA Basketballer

Former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos, whose wife is American, was in California last summer. While there, he conducted a footy clinic. Among the attendees was Alex Starling, a talented college basketball player who has also played American football. In August, Starling spent three weeks in Australia for more testing and impressed Sydney Coach John Longmire, development manager Stuart Maxfield and head of player personnel Kinnear Beatson. So impressed is the club that it has signed Starling under the AFL's International Scholarship plan.

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AFL To Ease Rookie Recruitment Rules

With the pool of available talent being stretched at draft time due to the introduction of the Gold Coast and Western Sydney teams, the AFL has eliminated the age restriction for rookie-listed players. At present, only one player over the age of 23 is allowed to be rookie-drafted.

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