The Gold Coast Suns have continued to strengthen their playing list by recruiting a further two elite young players at last night’s AFL Draft.
Exciting Jesse Lonergan will be moving a long way from his native Tasmania; he was the first Sun recruited. The medium-sized midfielder was chosen with his new club’s opening selection of the night, pick 13.
List manager Scott Clayton said the GC Suns had got their man with Lonergan, Clayton adding that he felt the club’s new recruit could get a taste of senior AFL football in 2013.
While Clayton and the GC Suns’ coaching staff were pleased with the selection, the 18-year-old Lonergan was ecstatic as he pulled on the club colours for the first time. ‘I don’t know how to explain it really, just seeing my name up there on the board was amazing,’ said the Launceston midfielder. ‘I just can’t wait to get up here and get stuck into it straight away; and I know some of the other Tassie boys and I’m just excited, to be honest with you.’
Tim Sumner was the club’s next selection at pick 55. Clayton said the club had secured a multi-talented athlete with plenty of potential. ‘Tim Sumner has some X factor; a late pick, we were certainly backing some upside; we back our young players and we were trying to get someone who has something a bit different. He can play forward and back and I have seen him take mark of the year, land like a cat and kick a great goal, and then I have seen him play in defence and run it out and be very creative.’
Last night’s Draft signalled the end of a successful trade period for the Gold Coasters with Greg Broughton and Tom Murphy joining the club while hardworking rookie Kyal Horsley was promoted to the senior list along with Jaeger O’Meara, who graduates to the senior squad after being secured during the GWS mini-draft twelve months ago.
Clayton is particularly pleased with the selection of Clay Cameron whose signing increased the percentage of Queenslanders on the GC SUNS list to over 25 per cent. ‘To provide a vehicle for Queensland talent to make their way into the AFL system has always been at the fore of our strategy,’ he said. ‘To have Clay, who is an outstanding young man, join the club and have a quarter of our playing group hail from Queensland is a terrific achievement.’