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Wait, the Suns pre-listed who?

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Roar Guru
30th October, 2021
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The Gold Coast Suns have made some list changes, ending Irishman Luke Towey’s flirtation with the Sherrin and putting four-club veteran Jacob Townsend into delisted free agency but pre-listing academy MVP Bodhi Uwland and a little-known top-ager from Darwin Sandy Brock.

The teenager has a famous surname due to his late uncle, none other than King of the Mountain Peter Brock, but Suns fans tuning into the news this week know precious little about the latest player to pull on the surf lifesaver colours for the Gold Coast.

The third year of the Suns being able to name academy players to their list before the draft saw a large field of players contending for the honour from the Tweed to Darwin, but the Northern Territory player was a left-field smoky nobody was expecting.

Sandy Brock might be a name West Australians are familiar with. The teenager played ten senior games in the WAFL for Peel Thunder before announcing he would be joining the Suns academy in 2022, but his brief off-season has seen him catapulted onto the Gold Coast’s AFL list before he’s even kicked a ball in anger via his junior pathway through the NT Thunder academy.

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Northern Territory footy fans will know all about this youngster, who played senior NTFL with Palmerston and came through the junior ranks with Joel Jeffrey and Mally Rosas, but due to a disrupted draft year and December birthday he has slipped through the system to fill a position of identified needs at the Suns.

Fremantle fans might see him as a fish that got away. The 198-centimetre key defender put together some impressive football in the latter stages of the season for WAFL affiliate Peel, a prospect that seemed unlikely given Brock lined up in the preseason with the reserves only for the Dockers injury toll to give him the opportunity at senior level in defence and chopping out in the ruck.

That he’s the third player to be chosen from the NT Thunder in three drafts signifies the strength of the relationship between Gold Coast and the Northern Territory government, which this year had its showcase Darwin game cancelled several times. Top End fans are now anticipating the return of AFL games in 2022 and the possibility of seeing some of their own kids playing in Suns colours.

The player most Suns fans thought would be chosen from the NT, Ned Stevens, has missed most of the season with injury after moving to live on the Gold Coast for the year and being named in the AFL academy, so he will be hoping to hear his name called in the national draft.

Fellow AFL academy teammate Austin Harris, Mackay key forward Will Bella, Tweed defender Jed Foggo, crafty goal sneak Max Pescud and a handful of others from the Suns academy side that went through the season unbeaten except for an away clash against Dandenong Stingrays go into the draft hoping to have impressed another club.

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The Suns go into delisted free agency with three category A list spots open. One is reserved for Levi Casboult in the rookie draft and another is to be used with Pick 3, leaving a spot for a delisted player or a lifeline for Jacob Townsend.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on a spot with their own team, these players have a nervous wait for the draft. But hope isn’t lost if they go through undrafted, because the Suns still have an open category B rookie spot they can use on an academy player at any time between now and March next year.

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