With the Grand Final played and won, the long dark no football months of summer lie in wait for us. In an effort to bring some light to this miserable time, The Pinch Hitters intend to take a look back at the season that was and celebrate the great moments of season 2018. Today we shine a spotlight on Gold Coast, who endured a long season but still produced a number of moments to savour. Lets count down the Top Five.
5. Swallow’s extension
Player retention was a problem for the Suns in 2018 but they received some good news in this regard when David Swallow signed on to ply his trade on the Gold Coast until at least 2024. Despite the negative news surrounding the club the 24-year-old is excited about what the future holds.
“The club is well placed, some good appointments in the coaching area and fitness staff and going forward is really exciting and I can’t wait to get stuck into it,” Swallow told the Gold Coast Bulletin in November. “We’ve got a young list that’s really tight and driven for success. Everyone wants to see the Suns be successful and it’s going to take a collective effort from everyone involved to get there.”
4. Jack Bowes midfield turn
The truth of the old saying that crisis breeds opportunity was again proven with Jack Bowes performance after being thrown into the midfield for the final three games of the season. Matched up against the midfield might of Richmond and Geelong, the 2016 Number 10 Draft Pick showed he could compete against the best in the business.
3. Miller v Zorko – Q-Clash 1
In his second season as a part of the Gold Coast leadership group, Miller gathered more possessions and laid more tackles than any other Sun in 2018. Tasked with tagging Dayne Zorko in the season first Q-Clash, he kept the explosive midfielder to just 10 touches while having 21 of his own. This effort and a match saving smother, was recognised with his second Marcus Ashcroft Medal and an interesting post match run in with the volatile Lion.
2. Jarrad Harbrow
An inaugural Sun, Jarrad Harbrow was a shining light in a disappointing campaign for the club. Showing his trademark run and creativity across half back, the 30-year-old played all 22 games averaging 21 possessions a game. His efforts throughout the season were rewarded handsomely on Best & Fairest night with Harbrow winning his first Club Champion Award, the Players Player Award and became the first Sun to earn Life Membership at the club.
1. Round 18 v Sydney.
With it being perhaps the biggest upset of the decade, the Suns Round 18 victory over Sydney was the club’s best win by a long, long, way. Despite entering the match on the back of a 11-game losing streak, it was a confident and assured performance that saw them put a major dent in the Swans top four aspirations.
When the teams broke at quarter time with the Swans leading by five goals, there was no indication of the surprise the Suns were about to spring. Yet on the back of a four goal performance from Aaron Young, and standout performances from Lachie Weller and Will Brodie, Gold Coast would kick 11 of the next 13 goals of the match to record a 24-point victory.