Kane Cornes lashes Gold Coast Suns over eye-opening Joel Jeffrey deal

The Port Adelaide legend has slammed the deal as 'stupid'.

Pictured Gold Coast Suns player Joel Jeffrey
Gold Coast Suns have given fringe forward Joel Jeffrey a four-year contract extension much to the confusion of Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes. Image: Getty

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has labelled the Gold Coast Suns Joel Jeffrey deal as 'the hall of fame of stupid contracts'. The Suns handed the fringe forward a massive four-year extension despite only playing 16 AFL games in three years.

Jeffrey, 21, signed the new deal on Monday and Cornes, who has been a vocal opponent of long-term extensions in recent years, took exception to the contract extension. "Automatic qualification to the hall of fame of stupid contracts," he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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Jeffrey made just seven appearances for the Suns in 2023, kicking five goals, but spent the majority of his time in the VFL. "When Joel first joined the club he was very talented, but what has been most impressive has been seeing all the extra work he puts in to get the most out of himself on-field," Suns list boss Craig Cameron said in a statement announcing Jeffrey's new deal.

"He's developed himself into such a versatile player who we can use at either end of the ground and I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty more of what Joel can offer at AFL level in the years to come."

Jeffrey began his career in the Suns Academy, before debuting for the club in 2021. He has kicked a total of 15 goals in his career to date. The youngster said it was a no-brainer to sign onto the Suns long-term.

“I was really keen to show my loyalty to the club and sign on long-term with our exciting future ahead,” Jeffrey said. “The SUNS have been my family away from home and to have the opportunity to come back to Darwin to play AFL games in my hometown is a privilege I will never take for granted.

“The club has shown faith in me and I can see we’re going to have some great success in the coming years so I want to do everything I can to help the club towards that goal.”

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Kane Cornes of the Power walks from the field after his 300th and last game after the round eight AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Richmond Tigers at Adelaide Oval on May 24, 2015 in Adelaide, Australia.  (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Kane Cornes says the contract extension is in "the hall of fame of stupid contracts". Image: Getty

Alex Rance reunites with Damien Hardwick

Richmond premiership great Alex Rance will reunite with former Tigers coach Damien Hardwick at the Gold Coast Suns as part of the club's coaching staff. It puts to bed weeks of speculation that Rance and Hardwick were set to reunite on the Gold Coast, having won a premiership together as player and coach at Richmond in 2017.

Rance then went on to miss the Tigers' 2019 flag because of a knee injury and retired in December of that year, meaning he also missed out on Richmond's 2020 premiership success. The classy defender - who retired after a decorated 200-game career - has joined the Suns as a part-time leadership consultant. Rance says he's excited by the project at the Suns under Hardwick and firmly believes something special could be brewing at the footy club.

"From a football perspective, I was really excited to come to the Gold Coast, I really love the trajectory of the football club," Rance said in a statement on Monday. "I'm looking forward to working with the players and staff to help grow our leadership capacity.

"We have some great people at the Suns and evolving with them is something I am really excited about." Rance was regarded as one of the greatest defenders of the modern era and his experience and leadership qualities could prove invaluable to Hardwick, who takes over as Suns coach following the late-season sacking of Stuart Dew.

"Throughout his playing career, Alex proved himself to be the ultimate professional through his mental preparation and mindset which we believe is an area he can add value to our playing group off the field," Gold Coast's football manager Wayne Campbell said. "In his time with Richmond, Alex worked closely with Damien Hardwick and understands the program he is looking to implement at the Suns after spending many years as vice-captain and in the leadership group."

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