After the long-term knee injury suffered by co-captain Touk Miller against Melbourne three weeks ago, the question lingered:  how would the Suns cover the dual All-Australian's absence?

Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson, although just in their fourth seasons, are midfield mainstays, along with veteran David Swallow.

But Gold Coast needed more bodies rotating through the middle of the ground, so coach Stuart Dew turned to 18-year-old Humphrey, taken with pick No.6 in last year's AFL Draft.

And the boy from Moe has thrived.

He earned a Rising Star nomination in round nine against West Coast for his 20 disposals and a goal, backed it up a week later against Brisbane with 26 and a goal, and was influential again on Saturday night in the thrilling win over the Western Bulldogs.

Humphrey helped overturn an early deficit for the Suns with his powerful midfield play, but it's what he did late that will live in the memory.


With Gold Coast clinging to a two-point lead and time dwindling, Humphrey iced the four premiership points with an inspiring finish from deep in the right forward pocket.

"I thought I'd just get to the front, get to the face of 'Luko' and hopefully he'd bring it to ground if he didn't mark it … and I took my opportunity," Humphrey told

"I was going to dribble it, but I gave it a little bit of air and tried to boot the hell out of it. Lucky it got in.

"Then I gave the crowd a little bit. They were all Doggies fans on the fence, so I gave them a bit of a 'stir the pot'."

Humphrey's exuberance and power has helped add spark to an already strong midfield, but he says it's the belief from teammates that have helped him thrive.

Increasingly spending more time at centre bounces – five, eight and 16 appearances in the past three weeks respectively - Humphrey is showing everyone at the Suns the value he brings.

He said co-captain Jarrod Witts, Rowell and Anderson had filled him with confidence.

"I think I have real higher standards of myself. If you don't have confidence you're not going to get anywhere," Humphrey said.

"It's not overboard confidence, but just confidence I am able to play at the level.

"The boys are starting to trust me in there and giving me a shot.

"There's an even spread of 'hit-to'. They'll say 'Humper, you get this one'.

"That's where the confidence comes from. I walk in there and they say 'Bailey, you're getting this one', they have trust in me to win the ball.

"Them doing that, it does give me confidence."

After suffering badly from cramps in his first couple of games, Humphrey said he has devised a hydration strategy that is now seeing him contribute deep into fourth quarters, like he did against the Bulldogs.

"I'm learning things off all the players, it's great," he said.

"To see how far I've come in the past 10 weeks, I'm pretty proud of myself to be honest."