Cochrane bites at critics, calls for concessions for Suns

Murray Wenzel
Jack Bowes is hoping to win back the Gold Coast Suns' young fans with some strong performances

In an emotional defence of his struggling AFL club, Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane admits chronic errors have been made and the Suns need more help to become competitive.

Comparing the AFL to soccer's lopsided English Premier League, Cochrane agreed with Brisbane champion Jonathan Brown's suggestion that draft concessions were necessary for clubs like Gold Coast.

The Suns have won just 43 of their 164 games and have never played finals in their eight seasons.

Six-straight losses and some damning statistics have again put the club in the critics' sights and Cochrane agrees action is needed.

"It's in the best interests of the competition that everybody, every few years, has a really good chance (to win)," Cochrane said on SEN radio.

"We're not the only ones stuck down the bottom for a while; we've got a couple of mates there with us."

Cochrane's call comes after Brown had urged the AFL to bulk up the Suns' list courtesy of draft concessions or risk having it fold.

In a 20-minute radio tirade, Cochrane took aim at critics he said were short-sighted and unreasonable, especially given the side's wicked run of nine away games to start the season.

"Imagine you told Collingwood you can't play a home game in 2018's first 11 weeks, you do 49,655 kilometres of travel and you have a disruptive training schedule," he said.

"You bet we need some help, there's been some chronic errors made in the past and we need some help to fix those errors.

"We were given a pretty hard start ... spent the first six years of our existence in tin sheds.

"But (now) AFL is booming at the grassroots level, we only have one problem and that's that we don't have enough ovals."

Cochrane admitted talk of premierships was a little while off but he trusted new coach Stuart Dew and chief executive Mark Evans to head them in that direction.

That comes despite the Suns averaging just 35 points across their past three games.

They have lost six matches in a row and have not won the contested possession count in any of those encounters.

Last weekend against Greater Western Sydney, the Suns failed to take a mark inside 50 metres.

"Is it (the lack of success) driving me nuts? Yes it is ... but you cannot take your eye off the big job and that's to build this club into a respected and considered part of the AFL community," Cochrane said.

"Keep throwing all the s*** you like at us ... I'm telling you we're going to survive. We're going to be a success and a long-term part of the AFL."