Gold Coast start signings
This is an extract from the press release from GC17, detailing the players and the rules under which they were signed:
Three young Queenslanders have committed to the GC 17 team after signing AFL contracts today. The players will become part of the journey as the Bid team works to establish its submission to achieve the 17th licence in the AFL competition. The players are Charlie Dixon, 17, from Cairns and Jesse Haberfield and Jack Stanlake, both 17 from the Gold Coast. GC 17 Chairman John Witheriff said: “This is a very important milestone and in years to come we will be able to look back and say these guys were the foundations of the building of the Gold Coast Football Club.”
“I’d like to thank Jesse, Charlie and Jack for agreeing to join us on the journey to become the most exciting sporting club in Australia. “We still have a long way to go, however, community support is growing and we believe the Gold Coast is telling us they want this team. Now we have players who are telling us they want to play for us so we are confident we are on the right track.” AFL Queensland CEO Richard Griffiths said in the initial development of the new club, the AFL felt it was vital they had access to home-grown Queensland talent, and the potential to build that talent into a playing list via an extended playing and development program. The AFL announced last month GC 17 would have access to pre-sign up to 20 Queensland players of draft eligible age in 2009 and 2010.
Contract offers for Queensland-based players to opt out of the NAB AFL Draft and sign with the GC 17 are in line with payments made to national draft players in their initial contract terms. The players will be part of the development side which will play in the TAC Cup next year and the VFL in 2010 before a team is fielded in the AFL from 2011. The player contracts will become void if the GC17 team does not meet the criteria set down by the AFL commission and is not granted the 17th licence in early October. The players will then be eligible for the AFL Draft in November.