Gold Coast SUNS General Manager of Player Talent and Strategy Craig Cameron believes after a successful Continental Tyres Trade Period, the club now has all the pieces in place to mount a climb up the ladder.
The SUNS were able to add an experienced forward/ruck to the list in Mabior Chol, who was recruited from Richmond via free agency.
The club also orchestrated a pick swap with Collingwood while negotiating a trade for Will Brodie who has joined Fremantle for next season.
Speaking to SUNS Media, Cameron said the moves all aligned with the strategy outlined at the beginning of the trade period.
“For us we achieved what we wanted to achieve in terms of bringing in players to fill positions that we needed, and also to ensure that we kept trade collateral and draft collateral for years to come,” Cameron said.
“We've been the youngest or second youngest team consistently for three years and we needed to ensure that we consolidate our list and our experience and cohesion within our list.
“The best way to do that is to maintain our existing players and bring through the top end talent when we can.”
All of Gold Coast’s trades involved the club accumulating future draft selections and offloading 2021 draft picks, which Cameron said was a strategic move due to the shortage of list positions available for next season.
“Given that we're going to have limited selections at this year's draft, we wanted to ensure that we kept hold of our draft collateral and pushed it into future years,” Cameron said.
“If we look at next year, our draft hand will be one first round, three second rounders, two thirds and two fourths so it's unlikely we will use all of those in one draft, but we can still continue to push those forward until we think we need to use them.
“It just helps us extend that collateral into either trade or draft in the future or even to be able to bid on Academy players, so we’re happy we did that.
“We haven't had to match bids for three years and we imagine that will change as of next year so it's important that we're well placed to bid on any of our SUNS Academy or Darwin Academy boys when we can.
“It's a really large part of our strategy, to bring local players onto our list, we just think it's really important for a number of reasons, so we want to make sure we're well placed to do it.”
The SUNS are poised to take three selections to the 2021 NAB AFL Draft, including the prized Pick 3 which would be used to take the best available talent.
With six weeks until the draft, Cameron said the next steps would see the club do its due diligence on the top draft prospects.
“We'll continue the interview process with the players that we're looking at around selection three,” Cameron said.
“There's all sorts of profiling and medicals that need to be completed on those guys.
“The coach hasn't spoken to all of those players yet, so we'll need to go through that process as well.
“There's still plenty of work to do to make sure that we make the right choice.”
The 2021 NAB AFL Draft will take place over two days from November 24-25, with the NAB AFL Rookie Draft being held on Friday November 26.