Nobody needs to tell the Gold Coast Suns that the club’s journey has been a tough one.
A lack of success, questions over the team’s culture, its inability to retain key players or attract new ones.
There’s even been calls by some down south to abandon the Gold Coast experiment and relocate the club to Tasmania.
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But as the Suns enter the 2019 season, the club is determined to break the cycle and wants the Gold Coast community to get on board.
Its unveiled a new direction today: “Challenge Accepted”, vowing not to shy away from the past and tackle its problems head on.
Suns CEO Mark Evans says it’s a new attitude that’s been been adopted from the very top of the club to the bottom.
“What it means is, we know the path ahead will be tough at times and we just want to make sure that all of our people are up for the challenge (and) really commit themselves to what it means to be an elite team on the Gold Coast and what you mean to the community,” Evans said.
It’s been a busy off-season for the Suns with a major overhaul of the playing roster and coaching staff as the club heads into 2019.
“It’s an important time for the club, we’ve had a very deliberate reset of all the things we’ve been doing – completely changed over our coaching structure, game plan, 13 new players 14 new staff and we thought it was a good time to tell the world that there’s a change in attitude at the Suns as well.”
Evans admits things had to change.
“We looked at it and said if we keep going down the path we are, we stay in the same cycle, it’s time to do something different.”
“The club has embraced that and I think the community will embrace that as well.”
Despite the new attitude, Evans isn’t keen to predict how that will translate into on-field performances this year.
“I think when we get to the end of this season, if the people who are really close to the club and have seen the club say ‘we’ve noticed a change and that change is going to take you somewhere’, then that’s what we’re after.”
“I’m not sure what that means – is that 4 wins, 8 wins, 12 wins, 16 wins? – it can be anything in there so long as people believe we’re on the right path.”
Hundreds of people turned out this morning for the Suns annual kick-to-kick at Kurrawa which Evans says is encouraging despite the Gold Coast weather at the moment.