It would appear that the AFL is determined to make footy a relevant part of the culture of Queensland.
They got a boost from the year the Brisbane Lions produced, although it remains to be seen what sort of fixture the Lions will confront in the Toyota 2020 AFL Premiership competition.
Will the league hand them a soft fixture, as they did in 2019?
Ahead of the season, it did not look especially soft, but as the season progressed, it appeared as though Brisbane was holding kicking drills in the stretch following their bye, where they played only three games with top-eight clubs. They won two of those, however, beating GWS and Geelong, so credit to them for that.
The other club, Gold Coast, needs CPR, resuscitation and life support.
They have received, or will receive, the footy equivalent of a transplant, as the Suns have the first two picks in this year’s draft. The element of uncertainty, assuming, first of all, that top draft picks actually provide some benefit, is whether those two draftees can contribute in the midst of the typical assortment of decent players bolting Gold Coast as soon as their pockets are lined with Gold Coast gold.
Gold Coast will also have the first pick of the second round.
They will also select around No. 11 in the 2020 draft and another high pick will be theirs in 2021.
“There is no doubt the Gold Coast Suns have had enormous challenges throughout their short history and it is to the benefit of the entire competition that the Suns are competitive,” AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said in a statement.
Statements by others have indicated that the league is not averse to moving Gold Coast to Brisbane.
The AFL continues to avow that it wants a strong and even competition, one that hopefully avoids the sort of final 2019 supplied.