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Suns strike deal to host matches in Townsville

Suns and Cats clash in the 2015 pre-season clash at Tony Ireland Stadium - AFL,Gold Coast Suns
Suns and Cats clash in the 2015 pre-season clash at Tony Ireland Stadium

GOLD COAST will play home matches for premiership points in both Cairns and Townsville from 2018 onwards.

The deal was struck between the Suns and Tourism and Events Queensland, and will see the club play in Cairns next season, and Townsville in 2019 or 2020.

With the Suns' usual home ground Metricon Stadium out of action at the start of the season – possibly up to round 10 – due to the Commonwealth Games, Cairns could be an option to host a game in the first half of the year.

Cairns hosted a match between the Western Bulldogs and Suns in round 18 this year, while Townsville has only ever hosted pre-season clashes.

Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane told it was a great opportunity for football fans in North Queensland to attend live matches.

"As a club, we have established significant support in Cairns and Townsville and enjoy playing our role in developing Australian Football throughout the region, which is also a key recruitment catchment for the Gold Coast Suns Talent Academy," he said.

"In the past, through community camps, pre-season games and AFL premiership fixtures, the Gold Coast Suns has and will continue to support the growth of AFL in North Queensland."

The AFL fixture is yet to be confirmed and is due to be announced in late October.