The Gold Coast SUNS have re-signed five of its brightest young players including two Queenslanders.
Jacob Heron and Jacob Dawson join Nick Holman, Sam Fletcher and Mitch Riordan all signing for the 2020 season.
Holman who has played 34 of a possible 44 games since joining the SUNS had become a regular in Stuart Dew’s side over the past two seasons, before succumbing to a back complaint in the second half of the 2019 season.
“I am really excited, my first two years have been finding my way back in the AFL system, and now I can start building and helping the team succeed the way we want too, for at least the next two years,” Holman said.
“Last year I didn’t get much of a pre-season at all, I think now I’ve had the surgery and my back is feeling good I’ll get a full pre-season under my belt and be ready to go for next year.”
“We can keep building on what was a competitive first half of this year, we’ve got a lot of 2,3,4-year players that are ready to take the next step.”
Dawson, who developed his game through the SUNS academy, played the final six games of the 2019 season, including a 22-possession game against Collingwood at the MCG.
“It was a great experience earning my spot in the team for the final rounds of the 2019 season, and as a Gold Coaster I’m looking forward to doing whatever I can to help the club continue to drive forward,” Dawson said.
After a making a historic debut in Shanghai 2018, Heron played five matches in the AFL side throughout 2019 and credited the coaching staff at the club for their help, in his development.
“I’ve worked closely with the coaching staff at the club to develop my game and this year that included some time across half back,” Heron said.
“Hopefully I can continue to work hard and play my role for the team, at either end of the ground.”
Fletcher, joined the club through the AFL supplementary selection period, managed nine games for the NEAFL side throughout 2019 and said he was looking forward to a full pre-season and the opportunities that would present.
“To get a full AFL pre-season under my belt, will hopefully set me up for a big 2020 season and I’m looking forward to the opportunities that lay ahead,” Fletcher said.
Riordan joined the club during the AFL’s first ever NAB Mid-season rookie draft, was managed early but showed exactly what he can do with three strong performances late in the season for the SUNS NEAFL side.
“It’s been great to be a part of an elite AFL environment, the programs the club has in place to help us develop as players has helped my game and I can’t wait to continue that journey,” Riordan added.
General Manager Football Operations, Jon Haines said the signing of all five players was a testament to the hard work they had put into their own careers.
“Each of the boys have worked hard to earn their spots on the club’s list, it’s a testament to their effort and work ethic,” Haines said.
“This brings the total number of players who have recommitted to the Suns this year to 20 which is reflective of the playing group’s growing belief in each other and the club”.
The Gold Coast SUNS will lodge its initial playing list for the 2020 AFL Premiership Season on Thursday 31st October.