Gold Coast snares AFL recruiting manager - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gold Coast snares AFL recruiting manager

By Guy Hand 18/08/2008 06:39:50 PM Comments (0)

The consortium which wants to run the Gold Coast's AFL franchise showed it meant business for the second time in a week, signing the man regarded as the competition's shrewdest recruiting manager.

Western Bulldogs recruiter Scott Clayton, the man largely responsible for building Brisbane's triple premiership side, agreed to build the list for the would-be 17th club, starting next year.

It is another coup for the GC17 consortium, which last week signed Collingwood assistant Guy McKenna as foundation coach on a deal which expires just before its planned entry into the AFL in 2011.

As well as having the luxury of making a choice on their coach ahead of their inaugural AFL season, they now have a man capable of assembling a playing list to make the team competitive from season one.

Clayton will take up the position from the start of 2009, and will oversee the Bulldogs' national draft selections later this year before heading north.

He described the opportunity to build Gold Coast's list from the ground-up as one of the best in AFL history.

"I made a strong case for the job because I think it is the next big challenge in football and I really wanted to be a part of it," Clayton said.

"To be involved in the birth of a club and to build a list from the bottom up is very exciting.

"As someone whose life is recruiting, it really is one of the greatest opportunities available in recent football history."

It is a huge fillip for the consortium, which will deliver its formal submission to secure the 17th AFL licence in October and must now surely be odds-on to get the nod from the AFL Commission.

The consortium now has two of its three key appointments locked in, with GC17 starting its nationwide search for a chief executive officer last week.

GC17 says it has also secured more than the 20,000 registrations of interest from supporters it needs, with two months remaining until the deadline.

The group must satisfy the league it has met a set of criteria including community and business engagement and the development of a football department, a proper asset base of an estimated $5 million, and sign at least one major sponsor.

"We are starting to build the core of a very strong football club - not just a team," GC17 chairman John Witheriff said.

Last week McKenna stressed the importance of signing the right recruiter, especially since the AFL has not indicated what draft concessions the Gold Coast will get.

The Gold Coast have already signed five teenage players.

If successful in getting the next licence, the Gold Coast side will play in the Victorian under-18 competition next year and the VFL in 2010, before joining the AFL in 2011.

The team is expected to settle on a nickname and colours within the next month.

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