What do you get after pouring half a decade of commitment, development, care and love into a #2 draft pick?
Pick 16 that’s what.
…and you have to give up pick 22 to get it.
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That was the final sum in an often troubled equation that spanned five years for the Gold Coast Suns after it was announced yesterday that freakishly talented midfielder Harley Bennell was bound for the Fremantle Dockers in 2016.
We fans had known for some times the 23 year old was leaving the Gold Coast.
It was pretty clear, even to we outsiders, that the relationship between Bennell and the Suns had strained past breaking point.
However this forewarning did little to soften the blow of losing a genuine superstar of the game (and an early second round selection in the 2015 Draft) for a very late first round pick.
But enough of Harley and his departure (and Dixon’s pending departure for that matter (sniffle)) – Gold Coast Suns fans should be looking forward to a 2016 ripe with possibility and opportunity not looking back on a season from hell.
Seldom in the modern game has one club been capable of the drastic list change that the Suns stand ready to achieve.
Assuming they receive Port Adelaide’s first round selection (#10) for Charlie Dixon, the Suns will have no less than four first round selections in the 2015 National Draft.
Yes that’s right, four! Pick’s 3, 10, 16 and 19 – not to mention 35, 40 and 58.
Now add to this the fact that prodigal son Jeager O’Meara who they didn’t have for the entire 2015 season will be ready and raring to go come Round 1 2016 and the Suns prospects are absolutely on the up.
Throw in 2014 #8 Peter Wright who will be an amazingly effective foil for Tom Lynch in 2015.
Then there is Ablett, Malceski, Martin, Thompson, Swallow, Prestia – every gun Sun that had been completely felled or made partially lame by injury in 2015 will be fit and reporting for duty come R1 2016.
But it is their arsenal of draft picks that really make the Suns a force.
Sure losing Dixon is a blow, but with the selections they have at their disposal, the Suns could lure not one but two mature aged stars to the club for next season.
Or they could completely dominate the Draft.
This from a side that despite their horror 2015 season beat the Kangaroos (well), drew with the West Coast Eagles and lost by one kick to the Dockers in the run home – that is three of the four preliminary final sides.