Party’s over for AFL’s Suns
After a season in which Gold Coast has had to refute claims of a drug culture among its players, it’s no surprise the Suns are being told to keep their Mad Monday plans low-key.
Suns coach Rodney Eade says the players have been made aware of their responsibilities ahead of their AFL season finale against Sydney at the SCG.
Eade won’t stop the players gathering for a drink to unwind after a disappointing campaign but is hopeful the message to avoid further headlines for the club has been received.
“The leadership group and the players are driving it. It’ll be fairly lame or tame, if that’s the right phrase. There won’t be anything special that they’re doing,” Eade said.
“They’ve spoken about that and realise the responsibility and the look of the Mad Mondays or whenever the players decide to have a drink.
“They need to unload from the season and have a drink together, all clubs do that, but it needs to be responsible and needs to be sensible about it.”
The Suns off-field woes this year have included published photos of Harley Bennell allegedly using drugs in a Tasmanian hotel in 2013 and reports former player Karmichael Hunt had revealed to Queensland police several players joined him at an off-season cocaine-fuelled bender last year.
It’s also been a tough first season at the club for Eade on the field, with a shocking injury toll and some underwhelming results.
But Eade says he’s seen enough in the past few weeks to give him confidence going into 2016.
“Culture, leadership, development of players, players wanting to improve, attitude towards standards and behaviour, attitudes towards training and professionalism – there’s been a big growth,” Eade said.
“We’ve made some big inroads with consistency and with the right way to go about it.
“That’s what I’m bullish about for next season.”