Gold Coast looms as a real threat

THE new Gold Coast AFL club will be better positioned to win a premiership than any other non-Victorian club from the season it enters the AFL according to a sports bookmaker.

SportsAlive.Com has framed a market on all clubs' AFL premiership prospects in 2011, the year the new Queensland team enters the competition.

No other expansion club has won a flag in fewer than the six seasons it took West Coast to win in 1992, after they joined the competition in 1987.

But the Gold Coast club has been rated a $15 sixth favourite for the 2011 flag, behind Carlton, Hawthorn, Geelong, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs.

“They are the shortest odds of all the interstate sides,” SportsAlive bookmaker Gerard Daffy said.

“That may come as a shock to a lot of people, but when you consider the concessions they've been given they've obviously had a pretty big leg-up in terms of being a success right from the start.”

Gold Coast have the capacity to pre-sign 12 17-year-olds this year and will have seven of the first 15 picks in next year's national draft.

They also have priority access to Queensland players and will be able to sign up to 16 uncontracted players from other clubs, a right they have promised to pursue aggressively.

Daffy also believed current AFL players would be keen to join the fledgling club.

“If you are an AFL player coming off contract, able to move to that place with a side that looks like it will be ultracompetitive you would be knocking on the door,” he said.

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