Auld says Gold Coast targeting the best - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Auld says Gold Coast targeting the best

By Tony Bartlett 24/03/2010 01:36:21 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast chief executive Travis Auld has refused to buy into renewed speculation concerning the playing future of Geelong superstar Gary Ablett.

But Auld said the new franchise would go all-out to recruit the best players on offer ahead of their entry into the AFL competition in 2011.

And he brushed off comments by Cats coach Mark Thompson about the future of key target Ablett.

Thompson said on Tuesday he suspected that the Brownlow medallist - who is out of contract at the end of 2010 - had already made up his mind where he would be playing next year.

Gold Coast is believed to be prepared to offer the midfielder a deal worth $1.5 million a season for five years.

Gold Coast will be able to recruit a maximum of one out-of-contract player from each of the 16 existing clubs before entering the competition as the 17th team.

"We'll go after the best (players) we can, we'll probably focus on half as many as that - eight to 10," Auld said on Wednesday.

"We are not going to leave any stone unturned to get the absolute best players.

"I know that will upset some other clubs and members of other clubs.

"That's a great part of our game, but I'm here to represent the Gold Coast, not the other 16 clubs.

"We've made it pretty clear all the way through that we're not going to speculate on individual players, we're not going to give a running commentary.

"I know it's causing a lot of interest in Melbourne, I understand that, I understand the people of Melbourne love their footy club and that's a very healthy part of our game.

"But we're not going to buy into speculation.

"Gary seems to be the front figure for uncontracted players and that's where all the speculation has been.

"He's certainly wearing the burden of that."

Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna said he was more concerned with Ablett's younger brother Nathan, who's in doubt for Saturday's practice match against the Brisbane Lions reserves after rolling his ankle last weekend.

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