36 of the 39 players on Gold Coast Suns senior list have tasted AFL action so far in 2016.
Add the long-term unavailability of midfield stars Jaeger O’Meara and David Swallow to the equation and there’s just one player remaining according to Gold Coast FC.
That player is 2015 No. 20 draft pick Brayden Fiorini, an immensely talented outside midfielder who has been sidelined for the majority of the season with a ruptured collateral ligament suffered in April.
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The Northern Knights product returned to football through the NEAFL a couple of weeks ago and highlighted his potential with a four-goal, 31 disposal outing against Redland last weekend.
Coach Rodney Eade said Fiorini would need more game time in the reserves before being considered for senior selection, but is a chance in the latter stages of the season.
“Brayden’s coming off a reasonable knee injury, it’s only his second game. So he would need at least a couple to be fair for him,” Eade told reporters at his Thursday press conference.
“If his form continues he may get a chance towards the end of the season.”
The veteran mentor conceded the classy midfielder would have played at the top level already if not for his injury and the club views Fiorini as a long-term member of its engine room.
“We rate him really highly,” Eade said.
“It’s unfortunate he got his knee injury because he’d be playing senior footy by now and I think having those games would’ve been great for him next year.
“But we see him as a long-term future prospect in our midfield.”
The Suns host GWS at Metricon on Saturday.