When Gold Coast and GWS were afforded unfettered access to the top end of the draft for the first few years of the decade, it was expected that both clubs would build lists that would contend for Premierships. While the Giants have gone close in recent weeks they, like the Suns, were once again feasted on by opposition clubs at trade time. Salary Cap pressure saw the Giants offload highly rated midfielders Dylan Shiel and Tom Scully, the Suns lost two more skippers this year after losing foundation captain Gary Ablett last year.
With doubts now over the ability of either club to contend for a flag in the near future, and with the quality of players that have gone through both clubs, it might be time to ask whether they are anything more than feeder clubs for the other 16 teams. To illustrate the strength of this argument we present to you a team of Suns and Giants players that have been gleefully extracted by opposition clubs.
Wantaway Giants & Suns – The Best 22
It is a pretty fair collection of talent! What started as a trickle of fringe players looking for greater opportunity because of the wealth of riches at both clubs has become a torrent of star power wanting out. While the exodus has kept the clubs at the pointy end of the draft can they ever truly compete if they cant retain the talent they develop?
The team contains 16 Top 10 or Priority Draft Selections, nine rising star nominees, best & fairest winners, All-Australians and three former captains of the expansion clubs. Fair play to the clubs that have brought these players to their clubs but it is hard to imagine that this the AFL wanted their expansion clubs to be nothing more than a brief stop on this many star players journeys.
Nathan Wilson |Steven May |Caleb Marchbank
Adam Saad |Lachie Plowman |Devon Smith
Taylor Adams |Jaeger O’Meara |Tom Scully
Rory Lobb |Dylan Shiel |Adam Treloar
Will Hoskin-Elliott | Charlie Dixon |Josh Bruce
Tom Boyd | Tom Lynch |Josh Caddy
Gary Ablett |Jack Steele | Dion Prestia | Jarrod Pickett
What do you think? Will the expansion clubs ever be able to hold on to their stars or will they exist purely as a feeder club for the rest of the competition. Let us know in the comments below or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to join the conversation online.