AFL Trade: Do Gold Coast have a retention problem?


Do Gold Coast have a retention issue?

The Suns are set to lose top-end picks Izak Rankine and Jack Bowes in the upcoming 2022 AFL Trade Period.

Rankine is keen to return to his home state, South Australia and is intent on joining Adelaide.

Bowes – who was selected with pick 10 in 2016 – has agreed to a move to Geelong along with pick seven in a salary dump by the club.

MORE: All your AFL trade news and rumours

However, the pair are not the only players to have left the Gold Coast as a long list ensues since the side’s inception in 2011.

Tom Lynch and Steven May are arguably the biggest names to have left the Suns, seeking greener pastures at Richmond and Melbourne.

Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy are premiership players since leaving the Queensland club while Peter Wright has become a Crichton Medalist (Essendon best-and-fairest).

Gold Coast – who haven’t finished higher than 10th on the ladder – are yet to make their maiden finals series.

This poses the question ‘what if’ for the Suns who will be kicking themselves for letting these players go.

The Sporting News takes a look at the top 10 players to depart Gold Coast.

Tom Lynch (2011 – 2018) 

After 131 games and 254 goals, the co-captain chose to leave and join Richmond.

The Tigers won the 2017 premiership and lost in the preliminary the following year but were in the midst of their dynasty.

Lynch’s addition resulted in back-to-back premierships, making it three flags from four seasons.

The former Sun won the 2022 Jack Dyer Medal making it three best-and-fairests thus far (2015, 2016 Gold Coast champion).

Steven May (2011 – 2018)

May left the club as co-captain (with Lynch) after 123 games.

Melbourne was able to trade in the key defender who made an immediate impact.

May has quickly become one of the game’s best talls in defence, adding two All-Australians (2021, 2022) to go with the Demons’ premiership in 2021.

Dion Prestia (2011 – 2016)

Dion Prestia

Selected at pick 10 in 2010, Prestia has all Gold Coast fans shaking their heads in their hands.

Joining Richmond at the beginning of 2017, the midfielder was pivotal in breaking the premiership drought.

Prestia has added another two flags (2019, 2020) to go with his 2019 Jack Dyer Medal.

Charlie Dixon (2011 – 2015)

Drafted from Gold Coast, Dixon was poised to be the saviour for the Suns’ future.

After 65 games, the tall forward requested a trade to Port Adelaide for the 2016 season and has been a regular in the senior line up.

Adding a 2020 All-Australian selection to his resume, Dixon has slotted 212 goals from his 120 games at the Power and proving to be a force to be reckoned with.

Jaeger O’Meara (2013 – 2016)

O’Meara was set to be a star of the competition especially since winning the 2013 Rising Star.

However, 44 games in four seasons saw a need for change for the midfielder who was traded to Hawthorn at the end of 2016.

Joining the leadership group since 2020, O’Meara has been a regular at the Hawks and still has plenty of upside.

Adam Saad (2015 – 2017)

Arguably the best half backs in the competition, Saad left the Suns for Essendon after 48 games.

However, decided to leave the Bombers for Carlton and has missed one game in the past two seasons.

Saad was selected in the 2022 All-Australian side and was rewarded for using his dashing pace and ability to create scores.

Peter Wright (2015 – 2020)

Peter Wright

Wright showed plenty of promise in 2016 and 2017 but failed to get a game in the 2020 COVID-19 ravaged season.

A trade request to Essendon at the end of 2020 has proven to be a stroke of genius from the key forward.

Missing one game in two years, Wright was stiff to miss out on All-Australian selection but was awarded with the 2022 Crichton Medal for his 53 goals.

Jarryd Lyons (2017 – 2018)

Played 37 games and averaged 25 disposals in two seasons, Lyons was delisted by the Suns despite having a year left on his contract.

Joining Brisbane for the 2019 season, the midfielder has been a worthwhile addition, adding 89 games and becoming a key contributor to the club.

Lyons’ 2021 season was his most impressive, polling 23 Brownlow votes as the Lions bowed out in straight sets in the finals.

Josh Caddy (2011-2012)

Caddy was a journeyman, leaving Gold Coast for Geelong before joining Richmond.

The former Sun became an avid goal kicker for both the Cats and Tigers.

Caddy became a two-time premiership player in 2017 and 2019 and was included in the 2018 All-Australian squad.

Aaron Hall (2012 – 2018)

The dashing defender played 103 games for the Suns before moving onto North Melbourne for the 2019 season.

Hall’s speed and dare was extremely valuable at times for Gold Coast but were unable to retain him following multiple 17th placed finishes.

The 31-year-old has showed glimpses of his potential at the Kangaroos but has struggled with injury and form to take the next step to the elite level.

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