We rate Gold Coast’s up and down 2014 AFL season.
GOLD COAST SUNS
(12th: 10 wins, 12 losses)
What went right:
The Suns’ were excellent in the first half of the season and looked well on track to make a first finals appearance in its short history.
There was even a point where the expansion club looked as if they would trouble the top six.
Gary Ablett, Dion Prestia, Jaeger O’Meara and Harley Bennell were leading to Suns into September before it all fell apart.
What went wrong:
Gary Ablett’s shoulder.
Everybody knew that the loss of Ablett for the season would hurt Gold Coast’s chances of making an impact in September massively, however not many would have picked just how far the Suns would fall without their talisman.
Guy McKenna’s side looked lost without Ablett and didn’t seem to have a Plan B. Ablett was at the centre of everything Gold Coast did and without their leader the young side struggled massively.
Gold Coast tumbled down the ladder and finished the season with barely a whimper in 12th place.
When a player misses over a quarter of a season and is still amongst the favourites to win the Brownlow Medal, he surely is your key man.
Gary Ablett was that good in 2014 that he is still in with a genuine shot at winning the AFL’s most prestigious individual award despite missing a fair chunk of the season.
His ability cannot be questioned, neither his leadership.
Ablett go down as arguably the best player to ever play the game.
Despite the horrific ending to its 2014 season, Gold Coast’s young list is of future premiership quality.
With youthful talent such as Prestia, O’Meara, Bennell, Charlie Dixon, Jack Martin, David Swallow, Kade Kolodjashnij and Tom Lynch, pencil in the Suns for a Grand Final spot within the next three-to-five years.