Gold Coast midfielder defends club's culture
GOLD Coast midfielder Michael Barlow says there is no culture crisis at the Suns and is "very confident” co-captain Steven May will re-sign.
The Suns were in the headlines for the wrong reasons again last week after defender Jarrod Harbrow was charged with drink driving, and youngster Jack Martin was the victim of an assault in a separate incident, the morning after their shock win over West Coast last Saturday night.
Off-field scandals have plagued the expansion club since its inception. In 2015, Karmichael Hunt was charged with cocaine possession stemming from his time at the Suns, and photos emerged of former midfielder Harley Bennell with lines of white powder.
But Barlow, who joined Gold Coast at the end of last season, said there had been no trouble during his time there, until the Harbrow incident.
"I've been nothing but impressed with the culture at the Suns. This off-field indiscretion is probably a first in two, 2½ years. So we have put a lot of runs on the board over that period,” Barlow said. "And as you know, when something negative does happen, it takes you back a few pegs. So I'm not concerned with the culture at the Suns at all.
"We are a very unified group. Unified in going in the right direction. So, yeah, no culture problem at the Suns at all.”
Harbrow was left out of the team which defeated Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday, but the Suns could still punish him further.
Barlow said Harbrow did the wrong thing, but had the respect and support of his teammates.
"Jarrod really has done the wrong thing, we all know that, drink-driving is not appropriate. (But) Jarrod's the heart and soul of the Gold Coast Suns, he's done so much for not only the Suns but the community,” Barlow said on Channel 7's AFL Gameday.
"The overall penalty will probably come out Monday or Tuesday. So whether he's available for selection next week, not sure.
"But I really want to be firm in pumping up the character that he is, he has got his own leadership academy and in terms of, I suppose, a bank, he's put in a lot of deposits over the time he's been at the Suns.
"As a group, our playing group, coaching group, we will rally around him and support him through it.”
Barlow said he expected May to put pen to paper on a new deal
"Very confident. He loves the Gold Coast. He's been there since day dot.”