suns AFL

Gold Coast Suns Season Predictions

Ins: Jed Anderson (Pre-Season Supplemental Selection), Tom Berry (Trade, Brisbane), Connor Blakely (Rookie Draft), Bailey Humphrey (NAB Draft, Pick 6), Lloyd Johnston (Category B Rookie), Ben Long (Trade, St Kilda), Brodie McLaughlin (Pre-Season Supplemental Selection), Jake Stein (Rookie Draft)

Outs: Jack Bowes (Trade, Geelong), Matt Conroy (Delisted), Josh Corbett (Trade, Fremantle), Jez McLennan (Delisted), Oleg Markov (Delisted), Patrick Murtagh (Delisted), Rhys Nicholls (Delisted), Izak Rankine (Trade, Adelaide), Rory Thompson (Retired)

Draw (what teams twice) : Based on the new weighted draw brought in for the 2023 season, Gold Coast statistically have the 7th easiest fixture. The Suns will face Adelaide, Brisbane, Carlton, North Melbourne, St Kilda, Sydney twice throughout the season.

Forwards:  Ben Ainsworth, Tom Berry, Levi Casboult, Mabior Chol, Sam Day, Nick Day, Joel Jeffrey, Ben King, Jack Lukosius, Brodie McLachlan*, Huwago Oea*, Malcolm Rosas*, Alex Sexton

Midfielders: Jed Anderson, Noah Anderson, Rory Atkins, Connor Blakely*, Alex Davies, Oskar Faulkhead*, Brayden Fiorini, Sam Flanders, Elijah Hollands, Bailey Humphrey, Touk Miller, Matt Rowell, Jeremy Sharp, David Swallow, James Tsitas

Rucks: Ned Moyle, Jarrod Witts

Defenders: Mac Andrew, Charlie Ballard, Sandy Brock*, Connor Budarick, Chris Burgess, Sam Collins, Charlie Constable, Brandon Ellis, Jy Farrar, Caleb Graham, Lloyd Johnston*, Sean Lemmens, Ben Long, Darcy Macpherson, Wil Powell, Jake Stein*, Bodhi Uwland*, Lachie Weller

* Indicates rookie/long term injury listed player

Ones to watch: Ben Long will be looking to make an immediate impact after his trade from the Saints. The much-maligned player will add extra physicality to the Suns side and will enjoy stability compared to his time at the Saints. All eyes will be on Matt Rowell this pre-season as he looks to improve on an injury interrupted past couple of years. After a full year off with an ACL injury, all eyes will be on Ben King during pre-season and leading up to round 1.

Strengths: The Suns midfield is led by one of the hardest working players offensively and defensively in Touk Miller, supported by young stars in Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell. Jarrod Witts is finally getting the recognition he deserves, now recognised as one of the best ruckmen in the competition. His tap work is incredible, averaging over 38 hit outs per game last year. The Suns also now have 3 key forwards who can take a contested mark in Chol, Casboult and King, but do they all fit inside their forward 50?

Weaknesses:  Unfortunately for a long period, the Suns have struggled to keep their young stars, with many often deciding to return home just before they peak. This leads to depth issues, which is usually shown later in year. Gold Coast have consistently been in the top 8 for the first 6 rounds, but nearly every year drop off between rounds 7-13.  The gap in quality between their top 16 and bottom 6 will have to shorten if they are to finally reach their first ever finals appearance.

General thoughts: With a developing list, anything can happen with the Suns this year. If they can keep majority of their best 22 on the park each week, finals will definitely be a possibility. The return of young superstar Ben King will be massive for the young Suns side, along with the continued development of future stars Noah Anderson, Matt Rowell and Jack Lukosius.

Coach Pressure Gauge – 6/10. Whilst the Suns had a much better year in 2022, Stewart Dew will now have to deal with the expectations of finals. The Suns showed that their best footy is good enough to make it, but consistency is what let them down. The last four years has seen the Suns improve each year with their list finally maturing and ready to take on all challengers.

Breakout year: Jack Lukosius, Elijah Hollands

B&F Winner: Touk Miller

Fantasy relevant:

Touk Miller – $972,000 – Mid

Jarrod Witts -$801,000 – Ruck

Ben King – $316,000 – Fwd

Bailey Humprey – $290,000 – Mid/Fwd

Finishing spot prediction: 10th

Brody is the founder and head of content at Straya Sports. A self-confessed sporting tragic, Brody has covered (and played) nearly every sport imaginable on a variety of different media platforms.

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