Hunt commits to AFL long term

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    The chances of Karmichael Hunt ending his football career back at rugby league have diminished sharply, with the AFL convert tied long-term to Gold Coast.

    Hunt has ended speculation about his future by signing a contract extension with the Suns that will take him through to the end of the 2014 season, when he will be 27.

    He will also continue to have an ambassador’s role with the AFL and that, combined with his Suns contract, reportedly takes his football earnings to more than $1 million per year.

    Hunt’s switch from league in 2009 has proved a massive promotional boost for the AFL with their expansion into south-east Queensland.

    The former Brisbane Bronco said he never considered a switch back to league.

    “Obviously there was a lot of interest out there but in no way did I entertain it or even ask about it (a return to rugby league),” he said.

    “It was just up to my manager, the club and the AFL to get the deal done and thankfully they want me to stay and I’m looking forward to the future.”

    Hunt is settled on the Gold Coast and his wife is expecting a baby, but he said that was not the main reason he decided to stay with the Suns.

    “If I wasn’t enjoying my time on the Gold Coast and enjoying AFL, there’d be no point staying just because we’re having a baby and sticking by our family,” he said.

    “But it makes it even more special that we are having a little one and we can stay on the Gold Coast and have our parents just up the road in Brisbane which will make it a lot easier.”

    Now Hunt has made a long-term AFL commitment, the only move he wants to make is into the Suns midfield.

    Hunt played 16 games last year in the Suns’ debut season, mainly in defence, and he proved the code switch was a lot more than a publicity stunt.

    Gold Coast have also elevated him to their leadership group this season.

    The Suns are hopeful Hunt can steadily spend more time on the ball this season and he has shed noticeable upper-body weight to help boost his running endurance.

    “During the off-season, I’ve gained a bit of nutrition knowledge and really knuckled down,” Hunt said.

    “Before Christmas, I got down to 90-91kg which is optimal for me at this point … and I really feel better – light on my feet and I feel better out on the field for it.

    “I can’t really say whether I will be running out for full games but, fingers crossed, I will be set for that when the time comes.”

    Suns coach Guy McKenna praised Hunt for his determination and ability to learn.

    He is confident Hunt has a solid future as an onballer.

    “It’s the way he’s designed aerobically – he’s such a powerful athlete,” McKenna said.

    “He’s probably more akin to playing through the midfield in the modern game.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • March 6th 2012 @ 2:20pm
      Jaceman said | March 6th 2012 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

      In the Melbourne Age where the NRL converts to AFL story originated – the story is labelled “Hunt and Folau to have last laugh”

      http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/hunt-and-folau-set-to-have-last-laugh-20120305-1uebr.html

      In the sister paper the Sydney Morning Herald its labelled “Strong and Smart Maybe the League boys can play”

      http://www.smh.com.au/afl/afl-news/strong-and-smart-maybe-the-league-boys-can-play-20120305-1ueef.html

      The AFL still has some work to do on the Sydney broadsheet or perhaps the NRL advertising is too important

      • Roar Guru

        March 7th 2012 @ 5:35am
        peeeko said | March 7th 2012 @ 5:35am | ! Report

        areyou saying the AFL should have an influence on the headlines of a news organization? Surely they print headlines to capture the most readers. Both headlines are designed to appeal to their target market. Most league supporters would argue that the Age headline is heavily biased towards AFL.

        • March 7th 2012 @ 7:01am
          ChrisH said | March 7th 2012 @ 7:01am | ! Report

          Agree

    • March 6th 2012 @ 8:34pm
      ChrisH said | March 6th 2012 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

      Good pickup. Mind you, it’s an understandable tweak.

    • Roar Guru

      March 7th 2012 @ 8:07am
      The_Wookie said | March 7th 2012 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      The telegraph version is enlightening

      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/afl-is-done-pinching-rugby-league-players-demetriou/story-e6frexnr-1226291160830

      In an actual interview with Andrew Demetriou this was the best part for me:
      Buzz: How long until GWS makes a profit?
      Andrew: Our funding model finishes in six years. By that stage we expect them to be breaking even or making a profit. The Suns exceeded our expectation and made a profit last year

      Thats right. The Suns are already profitable.

      • Roar Guru

        March 7th 2012 @ 8:38am
        The Cattery said | March 7th 2012 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        Terrific interview, it’s notable how the AFL treats the other codes with absolute respect. Also amazing that the Suns were able to achieve profitability in their first full AFL season, finishing rock bottom with 3 wins.

        • Roar Guru

          March 7th 2012 @ 9:07am
          The_Wookie said | March 7th 2012 @ 9:07am | ! Report

          Suns poster on bigfooty saying that they made more money out of the Foo Fighters concert at metricon than they did in membership last year. lol.

          Thats what happens though when you are prepared to shell out a few miliion and sign a long term contract. You can get things like management rights that are worth their weight in gold. If the giants have a similar deal then this whole exercise isnt going to be as financially taxing as anyone thouight.

          • March 7th 2012 @ 2:38pm
            JamesP said | March 7th 2012 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

            Yep no surprises there. They have got a full sponsors book (including Virgin and Host Plus) and they probably only need 15k or so to break even (much like Geelong who make a massive profit on 20 – 25k).

            The AFL has invested in Skoda Stadium so that should help GWS. They are also investing in Adelaide Oval (definitely need to help the clubs there) and probably also new Perth Stadium.
            Perhaps they should invest in the SCG redevlopment? (although the Swans made a profit this year for the first time in ages thanks to increased corporate sponsorhip (mainly VW), even though their crowds suffered).

      • March 7th 2012 @ 2:34pm
        JamesP said | March 7th 2012 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

        Great interview. So Demetriou was in Sydney for the day (yesterday) went to Fox Sports in the morning and popped over to the Daily Tele for a chat with Phil.

        Now that Andy has buried this “war” nonsense, will the Daily Tele stop publishing these sort of articles? I doubt it 🙂

        P.S. Could we ever imagine the reverse happening, with David Gallop speaking to Caro or Mike Sheehan (or whoever is running HS Sport these days)?

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