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Rankine ready and raring to go

SUNS TV: Izak Rankine Interview SUNS TV spoke with draftee Izak Rankine about his first pre-season as a Gold Coast SUN.

Making the step up from under-18 football to AFL level can be a daunting task, but it’s one that SUNS draftee Izak Rankine has tackled head on.

After moving north, the South Australian hasn’t wasted any time adapting to the rigours of pre-season despite the increase in temperature or standards.

“It’s been pretty tough, first couple of weeks were tough as it was really hot and the standard was up there but I think I’m getting used to it, body’s adjusting and I’m loving it so far,” Rankine told SUNS Media.

“Probably the heat and the standard, it’s a big step up but I love it here.” 

A major revamp of the Personal Excellence department over the off-season has been crucial to the SUNS’ ability to transition new players into the Gold Coast environment.   

For an 18-year-old like Rankine, this has allowed him to focus on footy and what it means to be a professional athlete. 

He’s been living with forward Sean Lemmens, who is known for his professionalism, and is learning plenty from him already.   

“It’s been a big step up I’ve heard and it’s been a surprise of how many wellness people there are and they really make you feel comfortable,”

“Everyone’s family here - there’s no one you don’t really talk to - everyone knows each other and like I said, I just love it here and I’m really enjoying my time.”

With pre-season training ramping up and match sim a weekly feature, Rankine will have the opportunity to show his wares as he fights for a debut in the early part of the season.

Having been taken with pick no. 3 in last year’s draft, there will be plenty of external pressure to do exactly that, but he’s under no illusions that hard work will be the thing that gets him there. 

“Hopefully early as possible… I’m just going to put in the hard work and hopefully play as early as I can.”