PRAGMATIC Gold Coast senior coach Stuart Dew has justified his decision to drop out of contract midfielder Jack Martin, despite the fact his side fell to another heavy loss to the Brisbane Lions on Saturday evening.
Martin was an interested onlooker at the Gabba as the Suns slipped to a 16th consecutive loss, with the 24-year-old having played in the curtain raiser earlier in the day against the Lions NEAFL counterparts.
The silky-skilled midfielder stood out in the NEAFL, collecting 32 disposals, 11 tackles and two goals in a dominant performance that Dew said will ensure he earns a senior recall for the Suns' round 22 clash against the Hawks next week.
Dew said the decision to banish Martin to the reserves had nothing to do with his contract situation and the midfield star had responded well after being dropped due to recent form issues.
"We talked to Jack about his form...we brought him back in (last week against Collingwood) and we both agreed, Jack and us, that he had a poor game,” Dew said.
"There has been some form issues for a fair while and we just thought we would break the cycle, and he did that which was really pleasing.
"I watched him play and he played well with power, particularly in the first half.
"No dramas, he will play next week."
Martin wasn't the only big name to feature in the NEAFL on Saturday, with highly rated big man Peter Wright another key player to be sent to the reserves to find form.
Wright spent much of the match playing in the ruck and finished with 18 disposals and 22 hitouts.
"With a lot of players, we are looking for that competitive effort and Pete was in that boat as well," Dew said.
"There are a lot of guys that have hung in there and we thought in this case it wouldn’t hurt for him to go back."
While Dew tried to put on a brave face following the Suns' 91-point loss to the Lions, the rookie coach admitted the gulf in class between the two teams was telling.
"Just before half-time in the second (quarter) we were within a couple of goals and then blink, 14 straight goals," Dew said.
"Our effort tonight was really, really disappointing, but Brisbane were very impressive."