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We'll win AFL flag in three years: Suns


Gold Coast

The near future?

The near future? Photo: Getty Images

Gold Coast chairman John Witheriff has declared his club will win the AFL premiership within three years, saying he expects to be laughed at but doesn't care.

The fledgling Suns were wooden spooners last year and second-last this year, winning just three games each season, making Witheriff's target incredibly ambitious.

But the chairman said many doubted a few years ago that the club could get to the point it has now and Gold Coast was a region built on bold people defying doubters.

John Witheriff outlining the virtues of the Suns, 2008.

John Witheriff outlining the virtues of the Suns, 2008. Photo: AAP

"That's the reaction I love," Witheriff told reporters of the ridicule he expected.

"That's the reaction our footy club loves. That's the thing that will make us get out of bed, stand up, do that extra hard work, because we've done it from day one.

"That's what happens in the Gold Coast when people laugh at you and tell you you can't do something.

"For me, laugh out loud guys. I'm relaxed, just watch us."

Witheriff said the Suns' director of coaching Malcolm Blight had urged him to be bold, pointing to his own efforts in leading Geelong from outside the eight to a grand final in the space of a year in 1989 and taking Adelaide from 12th to a flag in 1997.

He said the players were excited by the goal and coach Guy McKenna welcomed the expectation, having declared before he won the job that he was coming to be a premiership coach, not just make up the numbers.

While noting the Suns' second half of this year's season was better than the first, Witheriff declined to make any predictions for next year.

Chief executive Travis Auld said making the aspiration public was part of shifting the Suns' focus from establishment to achievement.

"It's supposed to stretch people, it's supposed to make you feel a little bit uncomfortable when you first hear it," Auld said.

"Comfortable visions don't take people anywhere."

The Suns' other stated goal is to double their membership to 20,000 for next season.

Gold Coast wins, 2012

Round 16, Cairns d Richmond by 2 points

Round 20, Carrara d GWS by 30 points

Round 22, Carrara d Carlton by 8 points

So far: Two seasons, six wins, 38 losses


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