I AM still thinking about the AFL's newest franchise a week after playing the Suns on the Gold Coast.This is not in terms of how we played them and what we could have done better in the win, but more about what has been happening behind the scenes there.When we landed on the Gold Coast, we headed straight to Metricon Stadium, getting an opportunity to walk around the oval and familiarise ourselves with the new surroundings. All the boys were excited to see the facility.A lot has changed since North Melbourne played home games at Carrara. Back then the warm up area was just a portable building like what we had in school and the surface was more slippery than an ice skating rink. Tens of millions of dollars have been poured into the stadium and more importantly the playing list which has been put together. There's Nathan Bock formerly of Adelaide, who was my opponent, ex-Hawk Campbell Brown and of course one-time Cat Gary Ablett.Then there are the young guns in David Swallow and big Zac Smith, who are touted as future champions.But is it all glitz and glamour? Not likely.To find out the real story, I went to my old mate Daniel Harris, who I was drafted with to North Melbourne back in October of 2000 and lived with for the first 15 months of our AFL careers. "Harro" has completed the Gold Coast move with a lot less fuss and hysteria than some of the big name recruits.In many ways, the 29-year-old father of two has done it the hard way. He went from staring down the barrel of retirement after being delisted by North Melbourne to being thrown a lifeline by the Suns.It has been a roller coaster ride in every sense.While his emotions no doubt took a real battering early on in his original transition out of AFL football � he played with the Suns in the VFL last year � Harro never gave up on his desire to continue playing at the highest level.With Andrew Demetriou's national blueprint rolled out, players like Harro have been delivered an opportunity to continue playing at the elite level.Respectfully shown the door at Aegis Park at the end of 2009, Harro continued to work on his deficiencies knowing that the Gold Coast could come knocking — and it did. The new club's need for mature bodies and leadership was a perfect fit for Harris.Collingwood's Josh Fraser has also been given a second chance.This another positive to come out of having a 17 teams, soon to be 18, in the competition. When Greater Western Sydney entering the AFL, the same opportunities will be handed to other players who might otherwise have been sent to the scrap heap.So while there is a belief that changes to the game may reduce the length of some player's careers owing to its increased pace and intensity, the expansion has clearly added some longevity for others. In a nutshell, two new teams essentially mean there are up to 100 or so new spots to fill.