Gunston: Players support Dingley move

An end-of-season trip to elite sporting facilities in the United Kingdom and United States has Hawthorn key forward Jack Gunston excited about the club’s proposed new Dingley home base.

Gunston travelled alongside fellow players Liam Shiels and Jarryd Roughead, CEO Stuart Fox and board member Richard Garvey, visiting EPL powerhouses including Tottenham and Arsenal and NFL heavyweight New York Jets.

The 23-year old said the learning tour was a real eye-opener.

“The trip we went on was unbelievable,” he said.

“The three of us (players) that were lucky enough to go couldn’t wait to come back and tell the players, just to get their take and get their feel on the training facility that we could build.

“It’s fair to say I don’t think anyone wouldn’t want to go there.

“We’re probably going to be nudging to get it done quicker, the boys ar e pretty excited about what we could build and the great training facility that could be out there.”

Gunston, who has been established himself as one of the AFL’s leading forwards since joining the Hawks from Adelaide after the 2011 season, said the new facility could help to attract more talent to the club.

“If we can have this built within the next 5-10 years, then it can only help being a destination club and a club that players want to come to,” he said.

“Once the plans get up and going you’ll see just how amazing this facility can be.”

The sharpshooter, who has kicked 19 goals from nine games in 2015, said Tottenham’s state-of-the-art training base was one facility Hawthorn could learn from.

“I think it’s the wow factor, the elite professionalism that comes with such a good facility,” Gunston said.

“(We were) walking around in awe of everything that was there – the wet areas, the rehab areas… having windows at every part of the facility you can see out of.

“It’s little things like that that create the elite standards and the great culture within a club.”

With the Hawks’ new facility still in early planning, you could understand the club’s younger brigade being most excited.

But Gunston said the news was a real buzz for the whole playing group.

“A few of the young guys that are pretty pumped about what will be happening and I’m sure the older guys will be hanging on – the Brian Lakes and Sam Mitchells – will try and get a year or two out of this facility,” he joked.

Author: Nick Duxson

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