Gold Coast Suns

Gold Coast Suns break all-time membership record

The hype around the Gold Coast Suns this season has seen the AFL club smash it’s all-time membership record.

The Gold Coast have been running a campaign in recent weeks, desperate to beat the former record of 14,131 members, which was set in their first season nine years ago.

Today the club confirmed it has now signed up 14,465 members so far in 2020.

Just yesterday, rising young stars Izak Rankine and Matt Rowell phoned AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan to get him on board the campaign.

“I’d love to sign up. We doing it now? Do you need a credit card?” McLachlan said.

“Yeah just give me your details!” Rankine jokingly replied.

The good news comes ahead of the Gold Coast running out on to Metricon Stadium for the first prime-time Thursday night game in the club’s history, taking on the Western Bulldogs.

First bounce is at 7.40pm.

Pro surfing to return to the Gold Coast in 2020

The world surfing tour may have been cancelled for 2020 but Gold Coasters will still be able to catch some live surfing action later this year.

The World Surf League has confirmed an ‘Australian Grand Slam of Surfing’ which will see two speciality events held at South Stradbroke Island and Margaret River in September and October.

Retired stars Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Dean Morrison and Bede Durbidge are all set to compete in the Straddie event. WA star Taj Burrow will also be competing in the Margaret River event.

Each event will run for just two days but, with a two-month waiting period, organisers will be able to pinpoint the best conditions for each location guaranteeing the best surfing in the best waves possible.

There will be both men and women’s events, with the winners to receive up to $20,00 for the charity of their choice.

Seven-time World Champion and local star Stephanie Gilmore said she is looking forward to pulling on a competitors jersey once again.

“It’s been a long, unexpected break for everyone with so many unknowns for the year,” Gilmore said.

“It feels great to finally get some events in the near future to get back in the competitive groove. I’ve been seeing a lot of impressive surfing from the Aussie girls both at home and on social media so it will be so good to catch up and challenge each other once again, especially at Straddie and Margaret River, I think they’re both great locations. Running these events is a harder task than ever right now, especially for such a global sport, so it’s encouraging to see how hard the WSL is working in their regional areas to get things back on track for their surfers and fans.”

After taking out the Newcastle Surfest Qualifying Series event earlier this year, current world No.11 Julian Wilson is looking forward to testing himself against the best once again at two of his favourite locations in Australia.

“Good luck finding a surfer that doesn’t daydream about scoring one of those perfect South Straddie days,” Wilson said.

“Having a window to pick a 2-day event window is ideal, this is going to be fun. Anytime we get to have a WSL event at a location where we all want to go for a surfing trip anyway, is something to look forward to! West Aus has so much to offer in terms of wave varieties and whether it’s big or small it always packs a punch and offers an opportunity for us to perform.”

The events come ahead of a revamped 2021 WSL schedule, which will see the season start in Hawaii late in 2020. The WSL then head to Portugal in February before returning to Australia for the usual Gold Coast, Bells Beach and Margaret River events.

AFL locks in 20 straight days of footy for Round 9 to 12

The AFL is gearing up for 20 consecutive days of footy as the league tries desperately to keep the season afloat.

33 matches will be played across round nine to 12, kicking off on July 29 with a match between Richmond and the Western Bulldogs. That will be just two days after the completion of round eight.

There’ll even be some double headers on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Games played across Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia. Tasmania is also in line to host games for the first time in 2020, pending state government exemption.

“Unprecedented times delivers us an unprecedented fixture for the next block of games. This is giving fans a unique opportunity to watch footy in a way we couldn’t normally produce.” AFL General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld said.

“This season has had so many twists and turns but it has also driven enormous interest from our supporters across the country.  Round Seven had the second highest ratings this year and our average TV ratings for games are up 20% on the 2019 average. The numbers show fans are tuning in to watch their teams and now they can watch footy every day for 20 days.”

Mr Auld said it made sense to compress the season while the majority of clubs were in hubs.

“We have taken the opportunity to compress the season as the feedback from clubs is that while they are in a hub environment there was a desire to play more games in a shorter period of time, and in turn we can effectively complete the season in a quicker format. Given that we don’t have the ability to prioritise attendance at matches this season it allows us to play games in the non-traditional time-slots of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night and showcase our game across the entire week.”

“As we set ourselves for the next few weeks, compressing some additional games into the fixture for our upcoming block of matches from Round Nine will feature non-traditional timeslots which will be a new experience for fans.

Four-day breaks will be used for the first time with Brisbane, Collingwood, Geelong, Melbourne and North Melbourne having two each, while Adelaide, Essendon, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, Richmond and St Kilda all have one in this fixture block.

“In constructing this block of matches we have focused on ensuring the teams with four-day breaks are, where possible, minimising travel in and around those matches. Teams who have four-day breaks in this block of matches will be afforded a BYE in the next block.”

Carlton, Fremantle, Hawthorn, West Coast Eagles will have a BYE in Round 10, while GWS GIANTS and Sydney Swans will have a BYE in Round 11, to accommodate the 14-day quarantine requirement of the WA government.

The teams who are yet to have a scheduled BYE will receive one in the next block of fixtures, with the exception of Melbourne and Essendon who didn’t play a match in Round 3.

Mr Auld thanked the clubs, the players and AFLPA and the broadcasters for being so supportive in an unprecedented period for our game. The AFL and AFLPA reached agreement on four-day breaks, as well as releasing the freeze on player contracts from 2021 onwards.

“The entire AFL industry’s collaboration through this unique season of football has been a defining factor in allowing the competition to continue. I would like to thank the clubs, the players and the AFLPA and our broadcasters for understanding the challenge and playing their part in helping piece this next block of games together.

“I would also like to thank the umpires who have made similar sacrifices across this season.

“It is important for us to remain flexible and agile and to continue to embrace the unique challenges the season continues to throw up.”

See below fixture for Rounds Nine through Twelve of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

Round Nine
Wednesday, Jul 29 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Western Bulldogs vs. Richmond Metricon Stadium (SEVEN) 7:10pm 7:10pm
Thursday, Jul 30 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Carlton vs. Hawthorn Optus Stadium (FOX) 5:40pm 3:40pm
Melbourne vs. Port Adelaide The Gabba (SEVEN) 8:10pm 8:10pm
Friday, Jul 31 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Essendon vs. Brisbane Lions Metricon Stadium (SEVEN) 7:50pm 7:50pm
Saturday, Aug 1 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
North Melbourne vs. Adelaide Crows Metricon Stadium (FOX) 2:35pm 2:35pm
St Kilda vs. Sydney Swans The Gabba (FOX) 5:10pm 5:10pm
West Coast Eagles vs. Geelong Cats Optus Stadium (SEVEN) 8:10pm 6:10pm
Sunday, Aug 2 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Gold Coast SUNS vs. GWS GIANTS Metricon Stadium (FOX) 3:35pm 3:35pm
Fremantle vs. Collingwood Optus Stadium (FOX) 6:10pm 4:10pm
Round Ten
Monday, Aug 3 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs Adelaide Oval (FOX) 7:10pm 6:40pm
Tuesday, Aug 4 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Richmond vs. Brisbane Lions Metricon Stadium (FOX) 7:10pm 7:10pm
Wednesday, Aug 5 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Geelong Cats vs. North Melbourne The Gabba (FOX) 5:40pm 5:40pm
Adelaide Crows vs. Melbourne Adelaide Oval (FOX) 8:10pm 7:40pm
Thursday, Aug 6 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Collingwood vs. Sydney Swans The Gabba (FOX) 5:40pm 5:40pm
Gold Coast SUNS vs. St Kilda Metricon Stadium (SEVEN) 8:10pm 8:10pm
Friday, Aug 7 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Essendon vs. GWS GIANTS Metricon Stadium (SEVEN) 7:50pm 7:50pm
Byes: Fremantle, West Coast Eagles, Hawthorn, Carlton
Round Eleven
Saturday, Aug 8 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Port Adelaide vs. Richmond Adelaide Oval (FOX) 4:35pm 4:05pm
Brisbane Lions vs. Western Bulldogs The Gabba (SEVEN) 7:40pm 7:40pm
Sunday, Aug 9 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
West Coast Eagles vs. Carlton Optus Stadium (SEVEN) 3:35pm 1:35pm
North Melbourne vs. Melbourne Blundstone Arena (FOX) 6:10pm 6:10pm
Monday, Aug 10 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Geelong Cats vs. St Kilda The Gabba (FOX) 6:10pm 6:10pm
Fremantle vs. Hawthorn Optus Stadium (FOX) 8:40pm 6:40pm
Tuesday, Aug 11 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Adelaide Crows vs. Collingwood Adelaide Oval (FOX) 7:10pm 6:40pm
Wednesday, Aug 12 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Gold Coast SUNS vs. Essendon Metricon Stadium (FOX) 7:10pm 7:10pm
Byes: GWS GIANTS, Sydney Swans
Round Twelve
Thursday, Aug 13 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Sydney Swans vs. GWS GIANTS Optus Stadium (FOX) 8:10pm 6:10pm
Friday, Aug 14 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Geelong Cats vs. Port Adelaide The Gabba (SEVEN) 7:50pm 7:50pm
Saturday, Aug 15 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
North Melbourne vs. Brisbane Lions Blundstone Arena (FOX) 2:35pm 2:35pm
Melbourne vs. Collingwood The Gabba (FOX) 5:10pm 5:10pm
Fremantle vs. Carlton Optus Stadium (SEVEN) 8:10pm 6:10pm
Sunday, Aug 16 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Western Bulldogs vs. Adelaide Crows Metricon Stadium (FOX) 1:05pm 1:05pm
St Kilda vs. Essendon The Gabba (SEVEN) 3:35pm 3:35pm
West Coast Eagles vs. Hawthorn Optus Stadium (FOX) 6:10pm 4:10pm
Monday, Aug 17 STADIUM (NETWORK) EST LOCAL
Richmond vs. Gold Coast SUNS The Gabba (FOX) 7:10pm 7:10pm

 

Cricket

Twenty20 World Cup 2020 postponed

The Twenty20 World Cup is the latest international event to be postponed, with organisers reaching the decision last night.

This year’s event was due to be held in Australia, with the International Cricket Council yet to confirm whether we’ll retain the hosting rights.

At a board meeting yesterday, windows for the next three ICC men’s events were also agreed, to bring clarity to the calendar, and give the sport the best possible opportunity over the next three years to recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19.

The windows for the Men’s events are:

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held October – November 2021 with the final on 14 November 2021
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be held October – November 2022 with the final on 13 November 2022
ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India October – November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023

The dates for this years events will be announced in due course.

The chief executive of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Nick Hockley says he’s confident Australia would host an outstanding tournament when a revised date is set.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting sporting tournaments across the globe and cricket is not immune.

“The complexities and risks around hosting a 16-team international event in October in the current environment ultimately proved sufficient for the ICC to postpone the event.

“A lot of hard work has gone into hosting the tournament in Australia this year and I would like to thank everyone involved for their passion and commitment.

“The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year will forever be remembered as a groundbreaking moment in Australian sport, and I have no doubt the men’s edition will also be a spectacular event.

“We accept the ICC’s decision to postpone the T20 World Cup in Australia. It was a decision made with the safety and wellbeing of fans, players, officials and staff in mind.

“We are confident that with this decision, we will give ourselves the best chance to safely welcome fans into the outstanding venues across the country to enjoy watching the world’s best men’s cricketers compete in this major global event in either 2021 or 2022.

“Cricket Australia now looks forward to hosting a safe and successful summer of bi-lateral cricket,” Hockley said.

‘Home of NRL and B-grade stadiums’ | WA angered by AFL’s move to QLD

WESTERN Australia is clearly a little salty about the AFL’s decision to move its clubs to Queensland and the possibility the grand final could be held in the “NRL state”.

The AFL confirmed on Wednesday all ten Victorian teams will be based on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast for as long as ten weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis unfolding down south.

The Premier is hopeful the move will lead to Queensland hosting the grand final and is actively pushing the idea to AFL bosses.

“If Queensland is doing the heavy lifting, I think Queensland should have the first opportunity,” Annastacia Palaszczuk told Sunrise on Thursday.

“Fingers crossed,” she added.

The front page of The West Australian paper has launched a scathing attack against the idea of the major sporting showpiece being held in the Sunshine State, labelling it the “ultimate east coast bias”.

It also labelled Queensland the “home of rugby league and a B-grade stadium” as it tries desperately to get the final moved over to Perth’s new billion-dollar Optus Stadium.

The front page of tomorrow's The West Australian.

Posted by The West Australian on Wednesday, 15 July 2020

The paper has even launched its own petition on the matter, which is already gathering thousands of signatures.

“The West Australian is calling on the AFL to bring the footy Grand Final to WA in 2020 with capacity crowds looking out of reach for Melbourne in the near future,” the petition reads.

“With Victoria struggling to quell the spread and the powers that be no clearer on whether or not the MCG could host a capacity crowd come October 24, we believe WA is in the best position to host football’s big dance this year.

“For too long the AFL has pandered to Melbourne and the MCG – handing it a ludicrous contract to host the final until at least 2057.”

AFL boss Gillion McLachlan insists no decisions are being made on the future of the grand final just yet.

“My clearest position is to say the grand final is at the MCG until there are circumstances and reasons that it can’t be. And then we’ll make a different decision then. But we’re not talking about that today,” McLachlan said on Wednesday.