Best 22 analysis: Gold Coast

Conor Roar Guru

By Conor, Conor is a Roar Guru

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    All the AFL lists are finalised for 2018, and now is the time to start investigating what each club’s best team looks like.

    This analysis won’t factor in injuries or early season suspension, as it is looking at the best team from the list each club has. This is my take on Gold Coast’s best 22.

    Previous analyses
    Brisbane’s best 22
    Carlton’s best 22
    Collingwood’s best 22
    Essendon’s best 22
    Fremantle’s best 22
    Geelong’s best 22

    Best 22
    B: Jarrod Harbrow, Steven May, Kade Kolodjashnij
    HB: Pearce Hanley, Jack Leslie, Sean Lemmens
    C: Lachie Weller, Aaron Hall, David Swallow
    HF: Jack Martin, Peter Wright, Jarryd Lyons
    F: Ben Ainsworth. Tom Lynch, Aaron Young
    Foll: Jarrod Witts, Touk Miller, Michael Barlow
    IC: Matt Rosa, Brayden Fiorini, Callum Ah Chee, Harrison Wigg
    Depth: Jack Scrimshaw, Alex Sexton, Jesse Lonergan, Sam Day, Rory Thompson, Brad Scheer, Tom Nicholls, Will Powell, Jack Bowes, Charlie Ballard, Brayden Crossley, Michael Rischitelli, Josh Schoenfield, Jesse Joyce, Will Brodie, Connor Nutting, Mackenzie Willis, Josh Jaska, Nick Holman, Jacob Heron, Max Spencer, Darcy MacPherson and Jacob Dawson.

    Defence
    The Suns team was surprisingly one of the hardest teams to pick so far, with the defence being the hardest part of the ground to choose. Jarrod Harbrow had his best season since 2014 and looks set to be in their best 22 based on his experience, leadership and what he can provide week in and week out.

    Kolodjashnij had an injury-interrupted season last year but has been fantastic in the previous seasons, so expect him to have a breakout year. Pearce Hanley had an interrupted season due to mental health and injuries but will be in the best 22 due to the leadership he provides. Sean Lemmens had a career-best year last season, and the Suns approach on playing youth has Lemmens a lock-in for the team.

    Co-captain Steven May collected the most disposals he ever has in a season and will be there providing he is fully fit and firing to stop the opposition teams best key forwards. It was tough to pick his key defensive partner, with Jack Leslie and Rory Thompson both viable options. Following Jack Leslie’s breakout season in which he played 13 games, he takes the spot over Rory Thompson, who will only get better with age.

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Midfield
    The Suns midfield is an interesting proposition and is sure to be a work in development over the next few years. Former Pie Jarrod Witts had a breakout year last season, playing all but four games and winning the most hit-outs in a season in his career.

    Former Docker Lachie crossed to the Suns in a controversial move in which Gold Coast traded their prized number two pick for him. He averaged 20.05 disposals last year and is only going to get better with age, which earns him a spot on the wing. Aaron Hall provides plenty of talent for the Suns, and with legendary Gary Ablett not at the club anymore he is bound to get more midfield time.

    David Swallow, brother of recently retired Roo Andrew Swallow, had a solid year last season and is sure to remain a regular in the team when fully fit. Michael Barlow offers plenty of talent and experience and will be in the best 22 providing he recovers from his broken leg well. Young star Touk Miller played 20 games last year, and after averaging 20.85 disposals last season, he is sure to provide a spark in the Suns midfield in 2018.

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    Attack
    The Suns forward line is far from being the best in the AFL, but it is nonetheless solid. Co-captain Tom Lynch is an elite talent, having kicked over 40 goals in the past four seasons. The question for him is whether he’ll be able to handle the pressure and constant speculation of his future. Lynch’s partner in crime, Peter Wright, is developing nicely and is sure to complement the co-captain next season.

    Young forward Ben Ainsworth will become the next man to play in Gary Ablett’s famous number nine, the most decorated number in the Suns’ short history, and from what Ainsworth showed last season, he will feature in the best 22. Former Port Adelaide forward Aaron Young is an unknown recruit who could be anything next season. In 2016 he had a career-best season, kicking 37 goals in 21 games; however, failed to back that up, scoring only 11 goals from 13 games in 2017.

    Exciting forward midfielder Jack Martin had a career-best season last year, averaging 18.63 disposals and 1.09 goals a game, and looks like he will only get better. Jarryd Lyons is more of a midfielder, but I struggled to fit him in the midfield, so I placed him on the forward flank to rotate through with Jack Martin and Aaron Hall during games, as he has previously shown that he knows how to make an impact on the scoreboard.

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Interchange
    The interchange bench is filled mostly with young players who have potential to make an impact on the team next year. Matt Rosa is the one veteran in the team who is sure to be one of the leaders to guide the youngsters and help develop the bright young players.

    Brayden Fiorini had a career-best year last season and is likely to feature in the best 22 regularly next year. Callum Ah Chee is a very promising forward midfielder and could be exciting for the Suns next year. Former Crow Harrison Wigg flew north to the Gold Coast, and with previous experience of being at a side regularly in finals, expect Wigg to put his knowledge learnt from the Crows into play at the Suns.

    Unlucky players
    Alex Sexton had a career-best year last year, but I have him as the 23rd man in the team as I struggled to find a spot for him. Jesse Lonergan wasn’t in his best form last year, so I have him in the seconds until he finds some regular strong form.

    Sam Day missed all of 2017 due to a dislocated hip, but if he can find some form in the NEAFL, he could definitely contend for a place in the team during 2018. Rory Thompson is another who is unlucky, with Jack Leslie taking his spot in defence following injury in 2017.

    Jack Bowes played 11 games last year and is sure to contend for regular senior games in 2018. Pick 42, Charlie Ballard, will be an interesting one to watch and could definitely come in and make an immediate impact at some stage during next season. Michael Rischitelli missed all but four games of 2017 due to an ACL injury and is very unlucky to lose his spot in the team.

    Jesse Joyce played 17 games and is sure to get many opportunities next year, but I don’t have him in my best 22. Will Brodie collected 23 disposals in the final round of last season and will be one to watch if he can continue that form.

    What do you think, Roarers? Do you agree with Gold Coast’s best 22?

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • January 6th 2018 @ 11:14am
      George said | January 6th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

      Not easy to chose best 22. You got 30-32 players who could be in it. For me at the moment, Joyce replaces Lemmens in defence and Sexton over Rosa on flank. I disagree with your assessment of forward line. I would consider forward line Lynch, Wright, Martin, Ah Chee, Ainsworth and Young Suns best line and one of the better ones in competition. Agree, we will probably see a lot of Fiorini and last year draftees Brodie and Bowes. Scrimshaw is another great talent I hope improved his body and can show us his skills in some games.

    • January 7th 2018 @ 12:23pm
      Bruce said | January 7th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

      The 22 fans that turn up will get a run with Gold Coast .

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