The departure of Charlie Dixon will see Sam Day command greater responsibility in front of goals, and the Gold Coast big man is leaving no stone unturned in the process.
From the outside looking in, the exit of Dixon to Port Adelaide could be misconstrued as leaving a gaping hole in attack, with the inaugural SUN booting 41 goals in 16 games last year.
But the SUNS are supremely confident a ready-made replacement is waiting in the wings, according to assistant coach Matthew Primus.
“We’re pretty keen and happy with how Sam Day’s going at the moment,” Primus told SEN’s Breakfast program on Tuesday.
“He’s had to drop a little bit of weight to help him sustain his running capabilities.
“Sammy Day’s now got an opportunity, not only as a second forward but as a key forward to produce for us.”
Day showed glimpses of what he could produce as a forward in 2014, with multiple four-goal hauls against Brisbane and Collingwood.
In 2015, the South Australian played most of his 14 games as a swingman, filling holes where required, despite a preference of playing as a permanent forward.
With 2014 No. 8 draft pick Peter Wright still needing time to develop in the NEAFL, the 23-year-old will be given every opportunity inside the forward 50 and has all the attributes needed to be successful.
“We’ve got Peter Wright who’s developing and who knows what Peter’s going to be able to do,” Primus said.
“We’ve got a couple of rucks that we can throw down there but we think Sam Day’s got the capabilities to be our next forward to replace Charlie and have a real good impact for us.
“He’s certainly highly skilled. He just needs to work on his aerobic capabilities, but his ability to mark the ball and kick the ball and decision making is pretty good and it’s certainly a big year for him.”