Forget the future, Gold Coast’s youngsters are ready now to play their part in turning around the Suns’ AFL fortunes.
Gold Coast snapped a 19-game losing run in spectacular fashion with a 44-point belting of premiership heavyweights West Coast on Saturday.
The victory erased the hurt of an underwhelming round one display against Port Adelaide and came with several of the club’s least experienced players taking starring roles.
Top draft pick Matt Rowell was best on ground against West Coast’s experienced and vaunted midfield, kicking two goals and picking up 26 disposals.
His good mate and fellow draftee Noah Anderson also kicked his first goal while fellow second-gamer Connor Budarick was solid in defence.
Throw in the efforts of second-year players Ben King and Jack Lukosius and the immediate future is looking bright for AFL’s perennial stragglers.
“We’re so lucky to have draftees come in and be ready to go straight away,” midfielder Lachie Weller told AAP.
“A lot of the older players … we want to get going now and we’re not gonna wait around.
“Everyone keeps saying that we’re building, which we are, but we want to start winning now and we’re just so lucky to have them three come in and play a role straight away.
“Jack Lukosius and Ben King, they’re only in their second year and they were some of the best players last night as well.
“Just to have them sort of young players come in and play a role, it just helps so much.”
Weller himself was a standout for the Suns in Saturday’s win, kicking a goal, claiming 24 disposals and five clearances.
The win was the ex-Fremantle player’s first in six attempts against the Eagles and he believes his best in a Suns jersey.
“I was really motivated to go out there and I had a lot of energy and a bit of a spark,” he said.
“When I play with that intensity and I’m sort of taking the game on I think that’s when I’m playing my best footy.”
Weller says the challenge now for the Suns is making sure their effort is not just a one off when they face Adelaide next Sunday with the Crows coming off the back of a heavy Showdown defeat.
“We couldn’t really maintain it through a whole game last year and or we couldn’t back it up the next week,” he said.
“That’s where we’re going to really grow now. It was really good night last night but we need to keep doing that every week now.”