Suns apologise to shunned fans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns apologise to shunned fans

Darren Cartwright 14/04/2011 03:39:27 PM Comments (0)

Supporter complaints have prompted Gold Coast to apologise for not acknowledging their fans after their AFL debut at the Gabba.

Seasoned defender Nathan Bock on Thursday unreservedly apologised on behalf of the players for their quick retreat down the players' race after their loss to Carlton instead of showing appreciation to the 28,000 spectators at their historic first AFL encounter.

Bock said the players were shell-shocked after the 119-point drubbing and failed to grasp the sense of occasion for the fans and corporate supporters who had waited almost two years for the Gold Coast AFL dream to become a reality.

He said they aimed to make amends starting at the Gabba on Sunday against Melbourne, their second home game of the season.

"There was a couple of emails towards the club and we thought the boys were really disappointed with our first defeat but we have to acknowledge the fans, that's what got us here," Bock said.

"It's more about acknowledging the fans and they were still cheering us off after the game.

"We spoke as a team and probably realised we didn't acknowledge the fans as good as we could have. From here on in win, lose or draw we will get out to the fans after every home game."

Fullback Bock will have to work a little harder as a defensive general for the next month after centre-halfback Campbell Brown was banned for a total of four matches on two separate offences against the Western Bulldogs.

Brown's absence will create a number of match-up problems for the Suns as well as deprive them of leadership and brawn.

"(I'm) Probably disappointed," Bock said on Thursday at Carrara.

"We know how he plays and he's very hard at the ball, but we have to play within the rules.

"Losing him down back for four weeks is going to leave a huge hole for us."

After two sizeable defeats, Bock said the aim on Sunday would be to restrict Melbourne, who lack big-sized match-winning forwards, to 15 goals or less.

"If you have a look at most games, if teams are kicking over 16 goals, then generally it's going to be hard to be competitive against," Bock said.

"If we can keep Melbourne under 15 goals then it's going to be a great result for us."

Besides Brown's suspension being a distraction, the Suns have also had to cope with talk code-hopper Karmichael Hunt could the target of an NRL poaching raid if the Central Coast Bears are admitted to the NRL in a couple of years.

He said distractions are nothing new for Hunt.

"I don't think it's a distraction to the team or to him," Bock said.

"He's great with dealing with the media pressure and it doesn't faze him at all. He laughs off a lot of that stuff."

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