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Ashcroft, Hart join Gold Coast team as assistants

Shaun Hart has been appointed as an assistant coach with Gold Coast
FORMER Brisbane Lions stars Marcus Ashcroft and Shaun Hart have been appointed as assistant coaches for GC 17, the Gold Coast's bid for the 17th AFL licence.

Ashcroft and Hart, two of Queensland's most decorated and experienced AFL players, will help guide the development of the young team under senior coach Guy McKenna.

The club's coaching staff will have a total of 858 senior games and eight AFL premierships between them and will coach the team in the TAC Cup Under 18 competition next year.

Both new coaches have strong Gold Coast links, with Hart living on the Gold Coast for the past 18 years and coaching Broadbeach in the AFLQ competition this year.

Ashcroft was born on the Gold Coast and was recruited to the Brisbane Bears from Southport in 1989.

Hart played 273 games for the Lions and was a key member of the 2001, 2002 and 2003 premierships sides, winning the Norm Smith Medal in 2001.

Ashcroft is the Lions' games record holder with 318 appearances, and has been the club's football operations mnager for the past four years.

GC 17 chairman John Witheriff said both were outstanding appointments for the fledgling club because of their experience playing at an elite AFL level and in various coaching and administration roles.
"Not only do Marcus and Shaun have impeccable records at AFL level, but they are both products of the game in Queensland and have a passionate connection with the Gold Coast," he said.

"We are very excited by the quality of the coaching group we have been able to attract and they are just as excited about the challenge of taking a young group of players and having the opportunity to develop the team from such a young age."

GC 17 is a Gold Coast group bidding for the 17th AFL licence.

If successful, the new Gold Coast AFL club will prepare a development team and compete in the TAC Cup in 2009 and the VFL in 2010 before entering the AFL in 2011.