Gold Coast aim to reach finals by 2013

GOLD Coast coach Guy McKenna believes the AFL's next club can be playing finals within its third season.

Armed with access to 17-year-old players at this year's national draft and a raft of early picks next year, McKenna said Gold Coast were aiming to reach the finals by 2013, after joining the league in 2011.

“We hope to,” he said yesterday.

“With the quality of kids that we're seeing now this year and next year's draft with the players coming in, and if we develop them at the rate we think we can...

“There's a lot of hard work, mind you.

“It's not just a matter of putting our feet up on the desk saying 'we've got these 21 18-year-olds, how good are we?'.

“There's a lot of hard work involved but we think around that time we'll be knocking on the door, that's for sure.”

While the Gold Coast will build their playing list through young talent, McKenna expected the club to chase some seasoned recruits to make an impact when it mattered.

The Gold Coast reaching the finals in their third season would compare favourably to the six other non-Victorian sides in the competition.

West Coast reached the finals in their second season, Adelaide and Port Adelaide both made it in their third years, and Sydney played off in September in their fifth season after relocating from South Melbourne in 1982.

But Brisbane and Fremantle both had to wait until their ninth seasons in the AFL before reaching the finals.

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