It has been a long journey for me but one where I have learned a lot about myself.

- Sam Collins

Gold Coast SUNS vice-captain, Sam Collins has gone through a more difficult pathway than most leading up to his 100th game in this weekend’s QClash.

Collins entered the system traditionally, drafted with pick #55 to Fremantle in the 2015 National Draft however only managed 14 games in his first two seasons.

After getting delisted and then being looked over in the 2017 AFL draft it seemed that his dream of AFL football was over.

The 29-year-old vice-captain has not taken a step backwards since he was handed a lifeline by the Gold Coast SUNS.

“It has been a long journey for me but one where I have learned a lot about myself,” Collins said.

“It is a privilege to play one AFL game so to play 100 is a really proud achievement.”

Collins said that he is very pleased of what he has achieved thus far and credits the support around him.

“I’m really proud of myself and my support network for helping me get here, it’s been a long road.”

The SUNS leader is encouraged by the efforts of the younger men in the group and is searching for a strong reply after a disappointing loss to the Giants last week.

“I’m taking so much enjoyment this season seeing how well some of the other boys down back are going and my influence on that.

“We’ve got some real key learnings on what we can do and fix coming up against Brisbane this week,” he added.

The six-foot four key defender has a big task ahead of him on Saturday, leading a young backline against a star-studded forward-line of the Lions, but remains focussed on what he can control.

“I am just happy to play my role every week,” he said.

Collins is yet to notch a win against the Lions in his 99-game career, something he hopes to change in this weekend’s QClash.

“Hopefully if we can just fine tune a few things we can make it a real contest and get the game on our terms and get a win this weekend.”