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AFL club Gold Coast Suns

AFL season preview: Gold Coast Suns

Here we are, the era of the Gold Coast Suns post-Gary Ablett Jr.
A club that has under-performed, disappointed and shown little growth since inception despite numerous AFL concessions.
And now, the blue chip marquee man is gone.
What does this mean for the men from the glitter strip?
It could go one of two ways. First, it could allow the rest of the squad to develop their own identity.
Rebrand themselves and dig in deep for each other, knowing that the champion midfielder won't be there to swoop in and save the day.
Or, the more likely path, is that the club will descend further into the mire.

The key player for the Gold Coast Suns

Well the Suns have certainly put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to replacing Ablett.
Promising Fremantle midfielder Lachie Weller wanted to be traded to the Gold Coast, and he got his wish. But it came at a heavy price, with the Suns sacrificing the No.2 draft pick as well as Brandon Matera to make it happen.
Long term vision has been shunned in a big for short term success - the Suns will be sweating on Weller delivering immediately.

The new recruit

Aaron Young was on the nose at Port Adelaide and, to be fair, not looking likely to get another AFL gig. That was until the Suns handed him a lifeline. A goal kicker is exactly what the Gold Coast Suns need, so Young has a chance to show he belongs at this level.

Needs to lift

No one gets a leave pass here, every player must be accountable. 2017 was a rotten season and anyone coming into this year with the same attitude will drag this roster down even further.
The buck stops with co-captains Tom Lynch and Steven May, though. They were clearly burdened by the responsibility last season and under-performed well below what they are capable of.
Lynch will carry a lot of weight this season, with many clubs tipped to be circling him. He has previously been touted as the leagues ‘best’ player by some champions of the game. He will need to be exactly that if the Suns are to compete at all in 2018.
The sooner Lynch either commits to the Gold Coast Suns or bails to another club, the better it will be for the Suns.

The X-factor

New head coach Stuart Dew has been handed one of the toughest assignments in the AFL, and one where his predecessors have all failed.
He won premierships as a player with both Hawthorn and Port Adelaide and has cut his teeth in the coaching ranks as an assistant at Sydney.
There is pedigree there and he has been part of strong cultures before. It is his job to install the culture here that is desperately needed.

Ins: Charlie Ballard, Brayden Crossley, Jacob Dawson, Jacob Heron, Nick Holman, Joshua Jaska, Connor Nutting, Wil Powell, Lachie Weller, Harrison Wigg, Aaron Young
 
Outs: Gary Ablett, Keegan Brooksby, Ryan Davis, Jarrad Grant, Mitch Hallahan, Cameron Loersch, Brandon Matera, Trent McKenzie, Adam Saad, Matt Shaw
 
Predicted finish: 18th

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About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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