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Get to know: Lachie Weller

After being part of the SUNS Talent Academy as a junior, midfielder Lachie Weller makes his return to the Gold Coast.

3:30pm  Oct 20, 2017

Trade period verdict: How every club fared

AFL Media takes a look at how each club performed during the NAB AFL Trade Period.

1:11pm  Oct 20, 2017

Indicative draft order: Post Trade Period edition

Here's the indicative draft order at the conlcusion of the 2017 NAB Trade Period.

4:49pm  Oct 19, 2017

Season Review: The Draftees

Sam Brodie  September 21, 2017 3:40 PM

AFL 2017 Round 17 - Gold Coast v Collingwood

The Gold Coast SUNS picked up five players in the 2016 draft, including four of the top ten, while one addition was made to the rookie list. All of them had an impact and made their AFL debuts in 2017.

Goldcoastfc.com.au looks at how they all went in their first season with the Gold Coast.

 

Ben Ainsworth

Ainsworth was the first player the Gold Coast SUNS selected with the fourth pick in the 2016 draft.

Highly touted for his nous around the goals, strong overheard mark and precise kicking skills, Ainsworth impressed in his first year on the Coast on the back of 13 games.

Some solid JLT Series outings saw him earn a round one debut where he booted two goals and gathered 14 disposals against the Brisbane Lions.

Unfortunately, following round two Ainsworth suffered a quad injury which kept him out of the AFL side until round 13. He made an instant impact upon his return with 18 possessions and a goal.

His pace and forward pressure was also highlighted with four tackles and four inside 50’s.

In just his sixth AFL appearance, Ainsworth was dominant in Gold Coast’s win over North Melbourne.

The Morwell product booted four goals including a miracle bicycle kick goal that got the crowd at Metricon Stadium on their feet.

There was a nice reward for a promising first season when he was awarded the Rising Star nomination for round 22 after a three goal effort against Essendon.

Ainsworth finished with 14 goals in his first season – an average of just over a goal per game.

When you consider that Eddie Betts also kicked a goal per game in his first season and Toby Greene just eight goals from his, it is obvious that Ainsworth has set a strong foundation for what looks set to be a magnificent career ahead.

 

Jack Scrimshaw

Scrimshaw showed glimpses of his elite potential in his first year on an AFL list, which saw him earn four senior games.

Taken with pick seven, the Sandringham Dragons product has a beautiful left boot kick coming out of the half back.

Scrimshaw started the season in great fashion at NEAFL level, which included 27 possessions and four rebound 50’s during the side’s round five clash.

He remained consistent and continued to find plenty of the footy, which is a great sign for a kid in his first year of senior football, and this form ultimately led to an AFL debut.

His first AFL game came in round 18 against the Western Bulldogs where he gathered 11 possessions, including four rebound 50’s, highlighting the run and carry he can provide out of half back and will be a feature of his game as he develops further.

However, it was the four ‘one-percenters’ that impressed many in the outing against the Bulldogs.

Scrimshaw was continually putting blocks on for his teammates and spoiling his opponent – the defensive side of the game is something he has been working hard at.

In the NEAFL Elimination Final, Scrimshaw gathered 24 possessions in the team’s win over NT Thunder, showing he is able to deliver in the big games.

Across his 14 NEAFL games, he averaged 19.4 possessions and finished the season making four AFL appearances – a first season to be proud of.

 

Will Brodie

When Brodie was drafted, the Gold Coast knew they were getting a contested ball midfielder who specialised around the stoppages.

Unfortunately, upon arriving at the club, a knee injury riddled a chunk of his pre-season but he was still able to feature in the club’s three JLT Series games.

The ninth pick in the 2016 draft started the season in the NEAFL competition where he gathered 27 possessions and four clearances in just the second round to show Gold Coast fans that he knew how to find the football.

Following some good NEAFL form, which included 36 possessions and six clearances in round five, Brodie was called upon to make his AFL debut in the club’s round ten game against Melbourne.

Playing at AFL level for two straight games, he gained some valuable experience and got a taste of what was required to play at the top level consistently.

Upon returning to NEAFL level, the 19 year old found a hot run of form which saw him accumulate 25 or more possessions in six of the next seven games including 28 possessions, eight clearances and three goals against Canberra in round 13.

Throughout the season, Brodie was working hard on improving his two way running as well as finding a balance between contested and uncontested possessions.

This improvement was highlighted in the NEAFL side’s round 21 game where he gathered 39 possessions, eight clearances and a goal, which led to an AFL recall for the last game of the 2017 AFL season against Port Adelaide.

At Adelaide Oval, he collected 23 disposals (the second most for Gold Coast players), laid six tackles and took a memorable mark in what was a tough night for the SUNS.

Brodie rounded out his first season on the Coast with 26 possessions in the NEAFL Preliminary Final.

The former Murray Bushranger averaged 25 disposals and just fewer than five clearances throughout his 17 NEAFL games and Gold Coast fans will look forward to watching him in 2018 with another pre-season under his belt.

 

Jack Bowes

Bowes was familiar with the surrounds of Metricon Stadium upon his arrival, having been a member of the Gold Coast SUNS Academy.

It didn’t take long for his new teammates and coaches to see his talent after a great pre-season; his running ability was nothing short of impressive for a kid in his first year.

The 19 year old had a solid JLT Series across the half back line which saw him – along with Ainsworth – get the call up for a round one debut for the Q Clash.

From then, he played seven of the first eight AFL games of 2017 and continued to improve week by week.

By his sixth AFL game against North Melbourne, Bowes had 21 possessions and booted a goal showing he had no troubles competing and matching it with the big boys at the elite level.

Out of those 21 possessions, seven of them were intercept possessions highlighting his ability to read the play, knowing when the right time was to leave his man and intercept it to provide rebound for the SUNS.

Just two weeks later, this time over in China against Port Adelaide, Bowes gathered another 18 possessions across half back.

He used the ball at an efficiency of 78% and his classy ball use and decision making was one of the few shining lights for the SUNS on what was a tough afternoon in Shanghai.

Bowes finished off his first year on an AFL list with some strong performances in the NEAFL.

The most notable came in round 21 against Sydney where he kicked a goal, earned 9 clearances and gathered 33 possessions around the ground to make his case for a more permanent role in the midfield come 2018.

 

Brad Scheer

Scheer was also no stranger to the Gold Coast when he was selected with pick 67 in last years draft, having been part of the Club's Talent Academy.

Scheer shot out of the blocks in 2017, a 22 possession game followed up with a 33 possession one the very next week earning him an AFL debut in round seven against Geelong at Metricon Stadium.

He went on to play the next two games as a small forward in the side, with his role to provide as much pressure as he could and try get on the end of a goal or two if he could.

Like the others, this taste of AFL action gave Scheer an insight into what it was like and something to work towards for the rest of the year.

Upon his return to NEAFL action, Scheer gathered 22 possessions, laid eight tackles and kicked two goals in a performance that showed him at his damaging best.

He made the most of this hot run of form with 24 possessions, including six inside 50’s in round 17 and another 25 possessions the next week.

In the NEAFL, Scheer was played as a half forward who would rotate into the midfield and his 18 possession, two goal game in round 21 showed he could play both positions and play them both well.

Following this performance, Scheer was recalled to the AFL side for the last game of the AFL season.

He averaged 17.8 possessions across 18 NEAFL games and played four games of AFL in his debut season.

 

Max Spencer

Spencer was the third member of the GC SUNS Talent Academy to join the senior team in 2017 after his selection in the rookie draft.

The Gold Coast local spent the first part of the year in the NEAFL, playing as a key defender and matching up against the opposition full forward and running off them to gather possessions for himself.

It was this impressive start that saw him continue to improve rapidly until he was called upon to make his debut in round 19 against Richmond.

Spencer would play every game for the rest of the season, matching up against some of the game's best key forwards and learning off one of the competition's best defenders in Captain Steven May.

In just his second game of AFL football against Fremantle, Spencer collected 17 possessions and used the ball at an incredibly efficient 88%.

Six of those possessions were also intercepts and shows his ability to read the play, as well as the confidence he has in his own ability to be able to peel off his opponent when the time is right to help a team mate.

The 19 year old's improvement continued right through to his last game of AFL for the season where he accumulated another 20 possessions, including a notable seven intercept possessions.

Spencer was no doubt one of the biggest improvers of 2017 and – with the helpful guidance of his captain in defence – looks to be a reliable defender that the SUNS can call upon for many years to come.