Johnson not in Suns’ age bracket: Eade

Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade has ruled out signing outgoing Geelong veteran Steve Johnson, with the Suns looking to trade for players with fewer AFL miles on their clock.

The Suns have finished 16th with a 4-17-1 record after suffering a 63-point final round away loss to Sydney.

The under-strength Suns got the better of the Swans in the two middle quarters, but Sydney kicked ten of the last 12 goals.

Eade wasn’t sure the next draft was vital for his club and suggested their biggest moves would come in the trade period.

Big man Charlie Dixon is one player rumoured to want a move.

Three-time Geelong premiership winner Johnson 32, finished off with Geelong on Saturday and is believed to want to continue his career elsewhere, but he’s not on the Suns radar.

“He’s not in the age bracket we need,” Eade said

“In the trade period, we’re looking for guys 22 to 26, 27 years of age in certain positions that we need.

“We certainly need to increase our depth in that range of players, that demographic.”

He said the spirit of the players had been fantastic and they had stuck together through a season in which they suffered a massive injury toll.

Eade nominated key forward Tom Lynch and defender Kade Kolodjashni as two of the Suns better performed individuals this season, but was pleased with the emergence and development of several other players.

“In the young players, I think Touk Mlller and Adam Saad have been fantastic for us,” Eade said.

“But Jessie Lonergan, Aaron Hall playing in the midfield, they’ve been pleasing.

“Steven May has again jumped up and improved again, so become a real leader around the club.

“There’s probably about another half dozen as well.

“”We’ve still got a lot of work to do and a lot of effort is required, but with players back (from injury)and I think a better fitness program, the way we’re going to go ahead, I’m quite bullish about where we’re headed.”

Eade gave Adam Goodes a senior debut in 1999 when he was Sydney coach and 16 years later that player in now the Swans’ all-time games record holder.

“He’s done a great job hasn’t he?” Eade said of Goodes.

“You still see the way he runs he’s athletic and it’s all credit to himself he’s been to do what he’s been able to achieve.

“I think it’s fantastic and hopefully he can contribute to the Swans in the finals.”

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