With three first round draft picks, the Gold Coast Suns are hoping to strike some gold, perhaps the sort that will improve their fortunes immediately, or the sort that will give them a foundation for seasons ahead.
If recent history is any indicator, Gold Coast might find some future stars, only to have those stars bolt at the first opportunity.
Gold Coast avoided the spoon in the Telstra 2018 AFL Premiership competition courtesy of the Carlton Blues, but following Round 16, the Suns had a firm grip on the 17th rung.
Drafting players always contains that delicious element of uncertainty, but the club deserves credit for making the moves to wind up with three first round picks. The Suns also have the second pick of the second round, along with the ninth, but they do not get to pick again until the fifth round.
When the 2019 competition begins, it would seem that there would be four new players thrown into the crucible, where the reward for doing well will be an eventual escape from Queensland to the more friendly footy climes of Victoria or South Australia.
One of the top prospects in this year’s class will be Jordan Clark, who is predicted to go in the top-10 of the first round.
Gold Coast could select him three times, but that is an unlikely scenario. More likely would be for them to use their third pick on him, provided Carlton does not snatch him with the first pick.
If predictions pan out, Carlton is likely to take Sam Walsh as talented midfielders can always find a home in the AFL. Gold Coast could grab a few headlines if they use picks two and three to add the King twins, Ben and Max, to their list, but telling the two apart might test the skills of Suns’ coach Stuart Dew.
If Clark is still around when the Suns make the ninth pick, it might be the perfect time to take him, although Nick Blakey might fall into their laps, if the Roos or the Lions do not use father-son status on him as the product of John Blakey spending time at both clubs in the mid-80s to 2002, where he played 359 senior games.