AFL 2024; Damien Hardwick calls out disrespectful travel claims

URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL

Gold Coast Suns coach Damien Hardwick has railed against “laughable” and “downright disrespectful”claims that interstate clubs aren’t disadvantaged by regular travel amid suggestions special allocations help them out.

Reports surfaced last week that some Victorian clubs believe the provision of 12 business class seats on all flights to and from the eastern seaboard for West Australian clubs helped alleviate the perceived issues with mass flights across the country.

The Suns are among a host of teams who have to travel nearly every second week, having already this season been to Adelaide, Melbourne, Ballarat, Sydney and Darwin twice, and will take 24 flights this seasons.

They are yet to win on the road and Hardwick said anyone who thought 12 nice seats evened out the travel burden should be “named and shamed”.

“Those 12 business class seats make an enormous difference … seriously, that comment is laughable,” Hardwick said on Wednesday.

“I’ve played in Victoria, I’ve played interstate and I’ve coached now up here. We’re up against it. There’s no question about that.

“For clubs in Victoria to say 12 business class flight seats help out the teams in Perth is a laughable statement. They should be named and shamed to be perfectly honest because I find it downright disrespectful.”

Hardwick said the myriad other issues involved with constant travel, something the bulk of Victorian clubs do not have to endure, added to the impact it can have.

“And then we travel every second week so sometimes we’re on a bus to Ballarat for an hour after our flight,” he said in reference to the round 2 clash against the Western Bulldogs.

“It is a challenge for the interstate sides. Every advantage we try to get, we are fighting hand over fist with the AFL to gain one. It’s incredibly tough. I’m 10 games in (to coaching Gold Coast) and I’m finding it challenging.

“These sort of things that Melbourne clubs take for granted … we don’t get that advantage.

“All the (talk around the Suns) Academy stuff … well you know what, we do need some advantages because we haven’t had an advantage for a long time at this footy club.”

Currently in the top eight with six wins from 10 games, the Suns to travel to Melbourne this weekend to play Carlton at Marvel Stadium among eight interstate games in the final 13 weeks of the season including two games in Perth.

Hardwick knows his team has to start winning away from home, with a 0-4 record this season on the road, to be any chance of making a maiden finals appearance.

“We’re still looking at that. We’re trying a few different things with regard to our preparation and what that looks like,” he said.

“There’s no excuse. We have to play better. We have to start better.

“We know for us to make finals we have to start winning these away games. This is a great opportunity for us (against Carlton).

“We know for us to get better we have to embrace that challenge. (Winning on the road) has to be part of our game. We have to get better and demand to get better.”

Read related topics:Melbourne

Leave a Comment