The AFL has given the Gold Coast Suns a number of draft concessions, but the struggling club doesn’t need all this.
Gold Coast are going to be the big boys in this upcoming trade period, and with Brandon Ellis reportedly a lock to head up north to take up a lengthy deal. There is also talk that Adelaide’s exodus will claim a Crouch brother, and while Matt looks to be staying, Brad is considering his future and could end up at the Suns in 2020.
In saying that, Brad Crouch should be made captain as a sweetener and the incentive of wanting to help give the Suns one last chance to climb up the ladder before the AFL steps in and potentially puts an end to this experiment and finally moves the team down south to Tasmania.
This will put the dagger in the hearts of David Swallow and Touk Miller who are the leaders at the Suns, but those two need to focus on their football more than leading the team in a higher capacity.
Keep Miller and Swallow in the leadership group to help nurture the kids coming in. Brad Crouch needs to be the man with the armband.
With his experience at Adelaide, Crouch is a future leader of a football club. It looked like it could’ve been at the Crows before they started to deteriorate as a football club and we are now seeing plenty of players looking to get out of West Lakes.
I’d also give Brandon Ellis the vice-captaincy as well. Over the weekend Ellis became a two-time premiership player and is leaving the Tigers in the best way possible. The midfielder will be a handy leader and mentor. Ellis epitomises hard work, out of favour before the finals in 2018 before having his best pre-season last summer, and he earned his spot back in the best 22, which ultimately saw him become a dual premiership player at Tigerland.
Gold Coast will look to be securing out-of-favour ruck/forward Hugh Greenwood from Adelaide as well, and he isn’t much of a leader so I wouldn’t bother putting him in the leadership group.
It’s a tough trade and draft period for the Suns, but it’s time for the Suns’ higher-ups like Tony Cochrane to make the right decisions, and for Stuart Dew and the coaching staff to make the tough decisions.
You aren’t going to last in the AFL if you don’t pull the trigger and make harsh decisions, and putting Crouch and Ellis as your leaders will pay dividends for the team in the long term.