Gold Coast season review and possible trade moves: 2017

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    It was another dismal season of footy on the Gold Coast, which resulted in the sacking of the second coach in their history.

    Here is my season review.

    Brisbane season review and possible trade moves: 2017

    What happened in 2017
    The Suns started the season with promise, going 2-2 in the first four games, losing to the Lions by two points, and being thrashed by fellow expansion team the Greater Western Sydney Giants by 102 points.

    They rebounded in the next two games, winning by 86 and 26 points respectively over the Hawks and the Blues.

    The Suns lost three of their next four games, with only one loss under 60 points, against North Melbourne, and their win coming over the out-of-form Cats.

    Following the bye, they had a disappointing loss to the Dees, going down by 35 points despite leading by five goals early in the third quarter. They then upset eventual finalists West Coast and the young, in-form Hawks by three and 16 points.

    At the halfway mark they were 5-6, but the wheels fell off quick, only winning one of their final 11 games, against fellow bottom-four team the Kangaroos.

    Rodney Eade was sacked following the game against Fremantle, with their final three games summing up their entire season: disappointing.

    Mark out of 10: 3/10

    The coach
    Rodney Eade did well in the first half of the season, to almost have the win-loss record equally split at 5-6, but ‘Rocket’ ultimately failed, winning only one more game for the remainder of the season.

    The next Suns coach will have a lot to fix when he arrives, and it’s as much about changing the culture around the club as refreshing the list.

    Mark out of 10: 2/10

    The best 22 – end of 2017
    B: Jarrod Harbrow, Steven May, Kade Kolodjashnij
    HB: Pearce Hanley, Jack Leslie, Adam Saad
    C: Matt Rosa, Jarryd Lyons, Michael Barlow
    HF: Jack Martin, Peter Wright, Aaron Hall
    F: Brandon Matera, Tom Lynch, Ben Ainsworth
    Foll: Jarrod Witts, Gary Ablett Jr, David Swallow
    I/C: Alex Sexton, Touk Miller, Sean Lemmens, Michael Rischitelli

    Players such as Brayden Fiorini, Callum Ah Chee, Rory Thompson, and Jesse Joyce are unlucky not be start-up players. I selected Jack Leslie over Thompson, as he is younger and is shown to have more potential, and his development would benefit from being a senior regular.

    Pearce Hanley, Michael Barlow, Gary Ablett, Michael Rischitelli, and Kade Kolodjashnij all would easily have been in their best team had they not been injured.

    List changes
    Possible delistings

    Keegan Brooksby’s axe is fair, having struggled in his 14 games, not being able to force himself onto the senior list.

    Ryan Davis had a career-best year in 2016, playing 19 games and kicking 15 goals, but only played two games in 2017. Probably unlucky to get delisted but he is 28, and his best is behind him.

    Jarrad Grant played 95 games in nine years, but has struggled up on the coast, and, like Davis, is 28 years old. Any potential best is behind him.

    Mitch Hallahan struggled to force a spot open during his time at the Suns.

    Cameron Loersch struggled to hit his potential best in the twos, and his delisting is self-explanatory.

    Jesse Lonergan has never played over 18 games in a season, and may well find himself on the fringes.

    Matt Shaw hasn’t played his best football since 2013 and 2014, and may find himself on the way out.

    Josh Schoenfield hasn’t notched over 20 disposals in any of his eight games, however, he is young and may possibly stay on.

    Mackenzie Willis hasn’t been super impressive when playing in the ones, and may find himself on the way out.

    Free agents
    The Suns do not have any free agents this year, with their only free agent in the history of club being Rory Thompson last year, who re-signed.

    Picks: 2, 19, 22, 24, Richmond’s second round pick (currently 33), 37, 74

    Gary Ablett Gold Coast Suns AFL 2016

    AAP Image/Julian Smith

    Potential trade targets
    The most talked about trade is Ablett returning to Geelong. Rumours suggest either he’ll be at Geelong next year or he’ll retire. The Suns would likely demand two-first rounders, however is that too much for a player who will probably only play one year then retire?

    A deal that could potentially get him to the Cats is Ablett and pick 37 for next year’s first rounder and Steve Motlop, Kakia Cockatoo, or Jake Kolodjashnij. If Kolodjashnij is thrown in, the Cats may also need to include this year’s second round pick (currently 34, but will be lower if they don’t make the grand final, which seems likely).

    There has also been talk about Brendan Matera leaving to a Victorian or Western Australian club, which may get them a second-round pick at the earliest, with a fourth-round pick being the latest they would probably accept for him.

    Aaron Hall may be looking at other options, which could also net them a second-rounder. Andrew Swallow is apparently looking to join his brother, David, at the Suns, which would probably cost a second-round pick. They could also look at out-of-favour players from other clubs who have potential to be gems, much like Jarrod Witts and Jarryd Lyons last year.

    Lukas Webb, Kade Stewart, Jeremy Finlayson, Billy Stretch, Aaron Young, and Jake Batchelor are all players they might be tempted to look at, but shouldn’t offer too much if they do decide to target a gem. Webb might be worth a late second-round pick at best, but all the others are third-round picks or later.

    Besides that, they must go young and attempt to start afresh, restarting their seven-year rebuild with a new coach and new, young talent.

    Retirements
    The potential retirees from their best 22 are Ablett, Jarrod Harbrow, and Michael Rischitelli.

    That said, Ablett’s potential retirement will depend on whether he can get to the Cats this trade period, while Harbrow and Rischitelli seem likely to go on.

    Early prediction
    I would expect the Suns to finish last on the ladder, with four wins, in their restarted rebuild next year.

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