Former Gold Coast defender Campbell Brown believes the standard of the NEAFL competition has contributed to the struggles of the expansion club.
Brown says players on the Suns’ list can’t successfully make the jump from the second-tier competition to the AFL because the gulf in class is so significant.
“One of the reasons the Gold Coast has struggled is the standard of the NEAFL, and without being disrespectful – it is so far below AFL standard,” Brown told SEN’s KB and The Doc.
“The guys that are not playing at AFL level, they’re doing as they please – getting 50 touches and kicking goals.
“When they do get the call-up, they can’t produce anywhere near that quality or play at AFL standard.”
In hindsight, Gold Coast should have affiliated themselves with NEAFL powerhouse Southport Sharks when they first entered the AFL, according to Brown.
“When Port Adelaide came into the competition they attached themselves to the Port Adelaide footy club that had 100 years of history, great past players and a bit of a fan base,” Brown added.
“Their (Southport Sharks) training facilities are outstanding, they were much better training facilities than we had at AFL level in our first year.
“In hindsight, I think it would have been a really good thing to do, to attach the
Gold Coast Suns to the Southport Sharks.”
Gold Coast hold picks two, three and six in this year’s National Draft.