The Gold Coast Suns didn’t even play at the weekend, yet somehow they have suffered the biggest defeat of the season.
Possibly the biggest of their short history.
Two completely independent situations – the Ken Hinkley and Gary Ablett situations – momentarily converged early this week thanks to an AFL media pack that is determined to see this upstart waste-of-money franchise fail and die.
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For those that want to catch up on the latest double standard into double standards, Damien Barrett’s article on AFL.COM captured the mood best.
It, along with other articles and commentary this week, highlighted loud and very clearly just what the AFL community thinks of the Gold Coast Suns.
Let’s step outside Barrett-world for a moment and go through the two situations shall we;
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley, understandably unhappy about the antics of Chairman Mao (Koch), might have for several days at least pondered the prospect of coaching elsewhere in 2018.
Not the Suns fault at all.
Hinkley has strong links to the Gold Coast and would have obviously known that they were looking for a coach which may have heightened his indecision about his future.
Reports that Hinkley’s management was contacted by the Suns can be true, false or otherwise it doesn’t matter – if there is even the hint of blood in the water in footy then clubs swoop in when it is advantageous to do so.
Again, not the Suns fault at all.
The Suns are guilty of nothing here, every club does it multiple times a week from board members and senior coaches to star players all the way down the line.
Then there is Garry Ablett.
Paid much of his 2018 money already, Ablett will be very cheap for the Suns to keep on next season but if he requests a trade to Geelong as everyone expects, the Suns are absolutely within their rights to say no and thus force the little master to either suck it up for another season (this time surely in the fwd pocket) or retire.
No chance in hell is this the Suns fault and suggesting the Suns ‘can’t have it both ways here’ while still maintain the moral high ground is ridiculous because they absolutely can.
In one of these situations they have a contract with a player, the other is about a coach contracted elsewhere who may have been unhappy and looking elsewhere.
The reaction from the Melbourne and Adelaide media however has revealed just how steep the angle is for the Suns to push the proverbial uphill to get ahead in the AFL.
The way Barrett litigated the prospective ways Hinkley could (very legitimately) cancel his current contract was very telling, comparing Koch’s ridiculous post-game antics last week to something that Suns chairman Tony Cochrane might one-day potentially do or say.
It also shows just how quickly the Melbourne media go from ‘we all want to see the Suns go well’ to completely bashing them and throwing childish false equivalency claims at the club which gets gutted every off-season by Melbourne and South Australian clubs.
24 hours after the Melbourne and South Australian media had hopped on its soap box about Hinkley, the belligerent Suns and their double standards, the beleaguered Port Adelaide coach announced he would be staying at Port.
With the coup by the upstarts averted, everyone could go back to feigning sincerity when speaking about how much they wanted the Suns to succeed.