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Every cloud has a silver lining

Injury Update: Marcus Ashcroft GC SUNS GM " Football Operations, Marcus Ashcroft, gives SUNS TV an update on Gary Ablett and Michael Rischitelli
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Touk Miller of the Suns holds the Marcus Ashcroft medal during the 2016 AFL Round 16 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on July 9, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Media)
I think if we look at the weekend just gone in the latest QClash, the first five or six best players on the ground were all of our younger type guys.
GC SUNS GM - Football Operations, Marcus Ashcroft

While the news coming out of Metricon Stadium today was devastating with scans confirming season-ending injuries for veterans Gary Ablett and Michael Rischitelli, the season is far from over for the Gold Coast SUNS.

Seven games still remain in 2016 and there is a silver lining, with the duo’s absence creating opportunity for others on the playing list.

The emergence of Aaron Hall in the late stages of 2015 was one of the biggest stories of the season for Gold Coast while Peter Wright's outstanding run this year may not have happened if not for injuries.

The 19-year-old has captivated the football world over the last two weeks but only received his opportunity out of necessity earlier in the season when Sam Day was forced back to cover the absence of Rory Thompson and Steven May.

Saturday’s QClash win highlighted the immense young talent the SUNS possess, with second-year players Touk Miller (20 years old) and Wright (19) finishing equal in votes for the Marcus Ashcroft medal.

Jack Martin (21), Tom Lynch (23) and Dion Prestia (23) were the next best on the ground for the home side.

“Fantastic opportunity. I think if we look at the weekend just gone in the latest QClash, the first five or six best players on the ground were all of our younger type guys so I don’t think we totally rely on Gary to be the best player each week which is a real positive,” GM – Football Operations, Marcus Ashcroft told SUNS TV.

“We’ve said a number of times our leadership has really stepped up over the last 12 months and we’re looking forward to those guys really building on the momentum that’s already in place and finishing the season off really strong.”