GOLD Coast is hopeful it will be able to maintain its competition-high list numbers even if the AFL decides to cut lists as a result of the COVID-19 impact on the game.
The Suns have 51 players on their list – the most in the AFL – after an assistance package last year enabled the club to have an increased rookie list up to 10 players.
That package, which also comprised being given four top-20 picks over three NAB AFL Drafts, including the No.1 choice last year to select Matt Rowell, was designed to help the club stabilise over a three-year period.
But with questions over the size of lists after the financial fallout of this season there is uncertainty on how playing groups could be trimmed.
Suns list and strategy manager Craig Cameron said the club had already contracted almost 80 per cent of its players beyond 2020, including rookies who are due to be upgraded, which would add a further complication to the possible changes.
"We'd like to think that given the concessions that were given to us last year were for three years that whatever structure the AFL settles on there's still a consideration to what they decided our position was last year," Cameron told the Road to the Draft podcast.
"Also part of that is we have nearly 40 players contracted into next year when you're talking about some of the rookies who have contracts that will take them onto the primary list next year as well.
"It will be something for us to work through once we get closer to a decision on the list number."
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The Suns gained access to Darwin as an Academy zone as part of the concessions last year, plus the ability to automatically sign Academy talents without matching bids at the draft.
It will see them gain first access to Queensland midfielder Alex Davies and Northern Territory speedster Joel Jeffrey at this year's intake, with the Suns having planned to relocate Jeffrey to the Gold Coast before COVID-19 struck.