Promising Gold Coast SUNS midfielder Elijah Hollands will make his AFL debut when the SUNS take on the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba this Saturday night.
Originally drafted with Pick 7 in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, it has been a two-year journey at the SUNS for Hollands to earn his chance at the highest level.
“It’s a very surreal feeling and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in on Saturday night - to be able to live out the dream of playing AFL footy is very exciting,” Hollands said after finding out the news in a team meeting early today.
“It has been a journey coming in with the rehab group and not getting stuck into footy until late last year in my first season.
“I’ve been working with Rhyce Shaw, Jackson Kornberg, Stuart Dew and Steven King to work on some of the gaps in my game to help me perform the best I can.
“I’ve definitely got the confidence I’m ready to go out there and I know if I bring my best footy I’ll be able to perform and match it with the best.
“I’ll have great support from the boys and I’m sure they’ll look after me in my first game.”
Hollands arrived at the club midway through the rehabilitation of an ACL injury he sustained in his draft year.
The 20-year-old has played 14 matches in the VFL this season, averaging 22 disposals and five marks per game while also booting eight goals.
He becomes the third player to make their AFL debut for the SUNS in 2022, after James Tsitas and Hewago Oea.