Suns in the Media

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GC2015

Club Legend
May 27, 2013
2,793
3,400
AFL Club
Gold Coast
One thing that's really interesting about Touk is he was drafted to us in 2014 when we had just come off our best season ever and looked primed to take the next step to play finals in 2015 with a strong list of Ablett, Bennell, Swallow, Prestia, O'Meara, Martin, Dixon, Lynch, Day, May, Thompson, Harbrow, Rischitelli etc. We had just landed Malceski through free agency and drafted Wright as well as Saad. Despite all this depth, Touk not only made the round 1 team in 2015 but also played every game in his first year on an AFL list.

That says something about Touk. From the very start he did everything he possibly could to get in the best 22 and keep his spot. Now he's just 12 games shy of becoming a life member with the club and at 25 years of age, he took the massive step towards becoming a superstar of the competition this year. His consistency was an unbelievable asset for us this year and I just feel it's the right time to give him the captaincy. He is everything we've ever wanted or needed in a captain. The time is right.
 

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PREETY_FLY

Premium Gold
Oct 19, 2012
1,442
943
AFL Club
Collingwood
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Suns



Former Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni believes the Suns have an “exciting list” and have the potential in becoming “a strong team for a long time”.


“I think you look at their list, I think it’s an exciting list and it’d be nice to have them all on the field at the one time, they have got exciting young talent, their Academy is producing young talent, they should be a strong team for a long time,” Silvagni said.


“I think Jack Lukosius is a very good player as well and we know what Izak Rankine can do, and they’ve got some other young boys that are really improving.


“He’s (King) got to work out whether he sees a really strong future at that football club, or whether he wants to come home.”


King has played 52 games for Gold Coast in three seasons, booting 85 goals.


(Source www.sen.com.au )


SOS on the Money here. I hope the clubs fortunes change sooner rather then later. Id like to see some guys like Sexton who have bee here for the long haul have a crack at finals footy etc
 

Jen2310

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 21, 2018
18,187
27,022
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Dew sat down with News Corp to discuss the season that was, the structural changes that have been made, the club’s trade targets, the performances of young guns like Izak Rankine and how he plans to get his side humming next year.

How do you feel looking back on the 2021 season after having had some clear air in the wake the last game?

Our best improved. Then when we copped some injuries. It is not so much the number we had, because in terms of that we didn’t have a high injury year, but in terms of who. (Jarrod) Witts going down in Round 3, that killed us and (Zac) Smith went down before that and Matt Conroy. Sam Day was another one who, if break glass, could have shouldered that load. He ended up missing the majority of the year as well. It was a bit of a nightmare. If you wrote down who we wouldn’t want to miss a big chunk, and obviously (Matt) Rowell is in there and Connor Budarick, it is those five or six who are first choice for us, they are the ones that stung.


We probably fell a little bit short of our internal expectations but we also think there are some reasons for that. In particular, I think in the last four games we were missing nine, eight, nine and 10 of our best 22 or 23. When that happens any team profile changes significantly. We lost the territory game far too often against the best teams because of it. The Brisbane game was a reflection, against a top four team we played really good footy in the first half and when a top four team lifted we weren’t able to go with them. In that sense we think our best improved and we showed that, we would have more concerns if we didn’t show that throughout a number of periods including the Western Bulldogs game at Metricon in our last home game. That was the other part that was different for us. We had one of the last nine at home. It was a unique year. Four or five times we took off early. It went really fast but there is a lot to like there. Guys like Touk Miller who was All-Australian, Noah Anderson, Wil Powell, even Rowelly just getting back to playing regular footy and enjoying his footy. He will benefit from a good pre-season. Charlie Ballard, Ben King, the individual development was there. The guys continued to build and importantly a lot of those guys played 18 to 22 games together.

Are you confident getting those injured players back is the simple fix that will reduce the margin between the team’s best and worst performances?

It closes the gap. There are two parts. We are really confident that if we get those players back into the side, whether by experience and capability, that will iron out a fair bit of inconsistency. We are still the youngest team in the competition. Where we are starting to get to now is that it is less about age, it is more about experience. We are still 17th for experience I think but we are starting to climb that ladder and get our list profile in an area where you can be more consistent. Even the two games against Brisbane we had an average games of under 60. That is really difficult, particularly when the opposition are up over 100. You are talking every player has two or three seasons less experience so we think those guys coming in will clearly help. The plus side of having some of these injuries is a lot of guys got ot play who normally wouldn’t and we got a good look at them.




You had a 50-man list size for 2021. Have you been given any clarity from the AFL on your list size for 2022 yet?

No. We are working towards having the same size, give or take.

Five players, all Category A Rookies, have left the club so far in the post-season including Jarrod Harbrow (retirement), Zac Smith (retirement), Jordan Murdoch (retirement), Jack Hombsch (retirement) and Aiden Fyfe (delisted). Have you made any more?

We are waiting on that clarity for list sizes before deciding whether we act. We will wait until the trade period for some guys to see where our list is at, what is around and what can we actually get done. Us and Brisbane are probably the most heavily contracted in terms of years and percentage of list under contract.


Jacob Townsend and Maclolm Rosas are among those out-of-contract, where do they sit in your plans for 2022, particularly given Essendon have been linked to Rosas?

Malcolm is out but he will stay. That is in the process of getting done. He would have got some interest but he is really keen to stay. He has done a really good job considering last year’s second-tier competition was compromised and it was the same this year. There were periods where they didn’t play. To be able to make his AFL debut has been a good effort. He has got some special talents Mally. We are keen to give him every opportunity to find his spot in the team. Jacob is one we will have to wait and see on. He has lived it at three other clubs. He knows we are going to wait to see where the list settles in and around free agency and the trade period. He is well aware of where he sits. He is at his fourth club so he is a survivor.

Has anyone requested to be traded yet?

No.

Midfielder Will Brodie asked for a trade at the end of last year. Do you expect him to come back and ask again given he played just five senior games in 2021?

We mutually explored our options together last year. You just never know. This is the quietest it has been in the four years I have been here at the Suns in terms of league-wide talk about trading. I think a little bit of that is about the list size and salary cap adjustments. It is either going to be quiet or a late flurry.


Will wants to stay but he is also open if someone comes to him and gives a heavy promise that he will play regular senior footy he is probably open to that. We will keep the dialogue open with him like we did last year. We are in constant conversations, manager-to-manager but also myself to Will. We are pretty open. We have good lines of communication. We are not here to try and stifle someone’s career. If someone sees a rock solid spot for him then that will be his decision to explore. He is contracted so in our view he is required unless he wants to explore something else.

On the back of the player exits so far, have you got enough space on the list to bring in the number or recruits you desire?

We have to have three live picks at the draft. It changed to one for just last year. In the past we have been able to move guys from the primary to the rookie list. The Rookie list doesn’t actually mean anything anymore because they can play, unless you are a Category B. The Category A rookies are just listed players. It used to be different. Their salaries are in the cap but you can put a portion of it out. A lot of teams shift them to the Rookie list when they are older if they need a list spot. The money is exactly the same where as the money used to be capped and they had to wait for a long term injury list in order to play. In terms of our Category B guys, we have two in Luke Towey and Ace (Hewago Paul Oea).

Have you decided if you want to keep or trade your top draft selection, pick three?

We haven’t got that far. Before anything you have to assess the draft pool, the depth and what player you think might be there. We haven’t gone down the path of definitely using it or trading it. There are so many things go into it but that will take place after the trade period once we know what the list looks like. They would have to be a pretty good player or option for us to move away from pick 3. The draft pool has been a little harder to judge the last two years because there hasn’t been a lot of under-18s football. I envisage in the next couple of years there will be some mature guys who will be seen to be late bloomers but maybe they just missed a lot of footy. There are kids in Melbourne who have missed a lot of footy in the past couple of years. If they can stick at it there might be a lot of guys who are 20 or 21 in a couple of years who get drafted.

Bodhi Uwland was named the Suns academy player of the year in 2021, is he the leading chance from the club’s development system for the draft?

He is in the frame. We liked what he did when he played. I think there is a good batch there. There isn’t one absolute stand out. It shows the academy is doing its job in terms of growing the talent pool for not only us, but the AFL. A good measure of our success is if we can get a couple but also other clubs get them. That is the aim for us, to not just have one coming through, if we can have two or three a year. If we can get them all then great but if they get into the system I think that is what the academy’s purpose is.



Is Matt Rowell still getting confidence back in his body and game after the knee injury that sidelined him for the first half of the season?

We really managed his minutes, managed the expectation which after the way he started was through the roof externally. He missed the majority of last year and almost two years of footy. It was good for him to feel like a normal player, not this sideshow who is coming in and everyone is talking about. In that sense he has learnt a lot about himself, his preparation, the importance of his body. He is a pro. What has happened in the last two years, he has learnt a lot of lessons that some guys don’t learn for a long time.

How do you see Izak Rankine’s 2021 season and how do you get him firing again in 2022 after he was dropped from the side after Round 19?

He had a difficult end to the season. He was one where it wasn’t like we got him in and said ‘we are going to drop you’. It was across two or three weeks, constant dialogue around how do we get him back to his best. The tough part for Izak is he started the season having played under 20 games and he has a target on his back from opponents. They will put their best small defender on him which is unusual. We are putting out best small defender on Charlie Cameron who has played probably over 150 games.


Eddie Betts played 300 and everyone is putting Izak in that bracket. He gets the best small defender. So another preseason of working through that. We also thought it would have been a good idea to go and play in the VFL for a couple of weeks and he was happy to do that and excited by it. That was the game he played 8 minutes out here and it got called off due to Covid. The idea was to go back for somewhere between one and four weeks, finish the year playing VFL and getting confidence and take the pressure off him externally. I think it has elevated to a point where it went to far. We think as part of our building Izak as a footballer we just wanted to lower that bar a bit for him, get him enjoying footy, go back to the VFL and get some live kills down there and get a lot of the ball and then springboard into next year.

Despite his challenges, do you feel he left the club in a good headspace at the end of the season?

Yeah. It wasn’t a one-way decision. We were in discussion about how can we help but also how we think we can get you back going. Ben Ainsworth is a good example. He had five or six week period where he was down. He went back and initially disappointed he was disappointed but once he got back into the team he was a different player. That is what the VFL competition is for, for guys who are up and coming or for guys who have lost a bit of form. You can inject them there for one or two weeks and they can bounce back. Unfortunately it would have been ideal if Izak played two or three in the VFL and either came back or hit the end of the season as is in a really good space but he was able to stay here. We had a group of players stay here and train really well. He will be good, another preseason will be good for him.

The strategy that you and the football department have taken is to bring in quality players from the draft to use as a core group who can develop together over time. It means if you can’t retain them, like has been a problem in the past, it will cripple the club again. Are you confident the likes of Ben King, Jack Lukosius and more will stay if you don’t break into the finals next year?

If we show the improvement we expect they will be on board. Quite often this year we said retaining those guys is actually for the whole group to take care of. They are a key part of it. They are not standing there saying ‘you guys get better and we will stay’, they are well aware that they are a key part of getting this club going forward. Where we go next year will show enough that they know we are on the journey.

It seems to be a done deal that Richmond’s Mabior Chol will come to the Suns in the off-season. Where does that sit?

Craig Cameron will hopefully get all that sorted but clearly he fits an area that we think we need and he can really add something. He can play ruck, tall forward. We are excited by what he might be able to bring to the footy club.


If he comes in, would you pair him up with Ben King and get him to pinch hit in the ruck with Jarrod Witts and then send Sam Day down back to play alongside Sam Collins?

It gives us lots of options. We also thinks at different times Wittsy could spend time forward because Mabior is proficient in the ruck. It gives us more flexibility, it gives us cover, depth and options. You can play three talls there to test opposition. It gives us a lever we haven’t really had in the past.

Is there anyone else on your radar? Adelaide’s Daniel Talia has been linked to the club.

Oour list spots are pretty tight. Once we get through the free agency period we will sit down and work out who is left. But in terms of with our list position being really tight and having to get to three live picks, we anticipate we will be pretty quiet. With Rory Thompson coming back as well, he is tracking well, and Caleb Graham is there. We have Sam Collins and Charlie Ballard so first and foremost we probably won’t have list spots to consider. This is the core group we have got, which for the last two years we have been that. Now we are just trying to plug in on a needs basis as opposed to grabbing whoever has been delisted or on the market.

Do you envisage Rory Thompson being fit to play Round 1 next year?

He has missed a lot of footy. He has had three years pretty much without playing an AFL games which has been a real shame after such a strong 2018. I think at the moment, he is not a week to week, but he is tracking really well. He has had a solid block of training. He will continue to train through the offseason and preseason will tell us a fair bit. If all keeps tracking well then he should be right for the trial games as we come into February.



He is running, doing change of direction stuff. He had a set back to ge ta clean out so he is in with Conroy, Budarick and Witts which is kind of good that there are a few of them who can push each other through this period. He is not sitting in the rehab room by himself, unfortunately for us is he has some company. The positive thing is they can push together. Rory won’t be with the main group straight away. We will be a bit measured because those older guys don’t come back until December 6, they do two weeks and then it is Christmas again. We will look to maintain where he is at and start to elevate his movement and then post-Christmas start to ramp him up.

Did anyone have off-season surgery?

Sam Collins had his ankle fixed up which was there for the whole second half of the season really. We missed him in the Fremantle, Port and North games in the middle of the year and then he was able to endure in the back end which is an unbelievable effort. For the injury it was, it didn’t put him at further risk but it was a significant effort for him to get up and then perform the way he did. We thank him for that. Alex Sexton had a little bit of a groin release but it is a long offseason so even those guys, there is a bit of time for them to get over it, recover and get going again.

The club’s hierachy have been public in saying they want to put more support around you. Wayne Campbell (General Manager of Football Performance) and new senior assistant Steven King have been brought in but what does that support look like in your eyes?

We are always just looking to improve the department. We were looking to bring in one, potentially two, new coaches, so one definitely and we do think we can bring in another. With our VFL and AFL this year there was a fair bit of cross-over like all teams. On the back of Covid a lot of teams were assessing where do we need to maintain what we had before but we also think it is not sustainable for guys. If the VFL here and they are doubling up with travel. It is a hard one to gauge with the Covid situation but we do think if we have the ability, we are working through that with Wayne, if we have the ablity to bring one in that would be handy.

There was increased pressure on you this year, how did you feel about that and are you prepared for it to intensify more in 2022 in the last year of your contract?

I am ready. That is the nature of the job, if you are not then you are probably in the wrong gig. It is just the reality of it. That is always going to be there. If I am looking over my shoulder then I am taking my focus off what the footy clubs needs from me and the players. In that sense it gives me good comfort and just my attention needs to be on the players and the club. I have to be disciplined in that and not get affected by it. That is the nature of the game. Regardless of who is available or who is out there, the scrutiny is always the same. To be fair it doesn’t change. You always feel under pressure but that is part of it. I have really good people around me and our staff, I have great confidence we are going to have a good year. In a way that is our focus, it is not about one person. Understanding that some people get more attention than others but for us to get better it is how I help lead the footy club and the people around me.


What do you believe this team can do in 2022?

We are pretty excited by next year. Like all teams that didn’t make the eight we are chasing that position. We think we can play finals. A lot of things have to go into that clearly. As we saw this year if you lose key personnel that severely hampers you. We are really confident that our best at different times we have pushed some of the finals teams, but not for long enough. One of the highlights is the Bulldogs game out here. I think the style of footy we played against a team that made the grand final, that gives us confidence that our best is good enough and we have the capability. It is now about ironing out our inconsistency and we have to clearly hit the scoreboard more. We lost the territory game at stoppages so we think we can play more of a front-half game on the back of Witts coming in and Mabiol if we get that done. That is the exciting part, the fact we were able to box on undermanned at different times. But the exposure of guys like Chris Burgess who played a lot more this year, Josh Corbett played a lot more, Joel Jeffrey debuted, Alex Davies debuted. I think there is some exciting stuff as well.
 

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Jirik13

Premiership Player
Jan 22, 2018
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Big Red Machine

Lamar Jackson Stan Account
Jul 11, 2006
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The club posted that on socials not too long ago, Doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out who's been the unfortunate victim of said abuse.

Absolutely abhorrent behavior from a small-minded individual

Goes without saying but worth reiterating that the mod team fully support the clubs stance on this issue.
 

SandyToes

Premium Platinum
Nov 17, 2009
8,805
11,768
Gold Coast
AFL Club
Gold Coast
View attachment 1254937

Club posted that on socials not too long ago, Doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out who's been the unfortunate victim of said abuse.

Absolutely abhorrent behaviour from a small minded individual

Goes without saying but worth reiterating that the mod tram fully support the clubs stance on this issue.
Powelly named and shamed the guy on IG
Bottom dwelling scum filtering low life
 

The Kings Ransom

Senior List
Aug 30, 2021
252
299
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Literally what is the point of messaging a person you don't know with a nasty message like that.
Does it somehow make them feel good.
I can't believe that people like this actually exist.
 

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