Let the young Suns shine, throw Gaz forward

The Suns have a forward injury crisis and Gary Ablett Jnr is returning from a hamstring – come on rocket even you should be able to put that puzzle piece in mate.

As the Suns head to Perth to play a resurgent Dockers side, whose coach and best player have both committed to the club long term, coach Rodney Eade has some really important calls to make at selection.

Not just personnel but positional.


Too many times this season have young Suns midfielders been gifted games on a half forward flank, wing or even a forward pocket.

Then after the game, these kids look at their stats and find themselves back in the NEAFL side, meanwhile G Ablett gets celebrated for getting 45 touches (or lambasted for getting 28).

Kids like Bowes, MacPherson and Brodie (and Ainsworth and Ah Chee for that matter) have been ball magnets throughout their junior years – put them in the centre bounce and tell them to catch and kill.

You only have to look at how young Petrevski-Seton or Powell-Pepper have gone at their respective clubs on the back of some coaching faith.

It is time to find out what kind of second tier midfield group the Suns have.

You can also add Jack Martin to that list.

Martin is the future of the Suns if he wants to be.

His class, composure and execution under pressure is sublime, but it is his attack on the footy at the contest that can inspire his team mates.

Both Martin and the Suns need Martin to have a breakout midfield game and there is no better place for him to do it than on the expanses of Subiaco Oval.

They need Swallow and Fiorini to both have strong midfield games and they need their kids to be right there with them in the thick of it, not getting cheap games out of position that sap their hunger and potential.

If Aaron Hall drops the lip then so be it, Hall has learnt his accumulation from Ablett (though he seems to have skipped the classes that involved contested possessions) but until he shows hunger at the contest, he will remain a one-way player getting cheap (albeit very damaging) offensive stats.

The Dockers are a very young side – what better game to show some faith in the young midfielders that will actually be there when May, Wright and Lynch are at the peak of their powers.

Sit Ablett in the forward pocket and let him kick his 3-4 goals, and watch on as the midfield he helped to teach shows they have what it takes – the kids will get knowledge, confidence and who knows, maybe even a win!

And one G Ablett may just think it might be worth sticking around for a 60-goal season and some finals footy in 2018!