Gold Coast vice-captain Steven May says the club’s reserves don’t need to look too far to see what seizing an opportunity can lead to at the Suns.
The Suns will need to rejig their defence for Saturday’s AFL derby against Brisbane with Trent McKenzie (broken nose) and Rory Thompson (ankle) both set to miss the Gabba clash.
May says it’s a blow to lose such quality players but those coming in must view it as an opportunity to prove their worth.
Last year several injuries to the club’s midfield resulted in the rise of Aaron Hall and Jesse Lonergan from fringe players to automatic selections.
Hall has been transformed as a player over the past eight months while Lonergan is a staple in a midfield still missing talent such as David Swallow and Jaeger O’Meara.
May says that’s the template the players replacing McKenzie and Thompson should seek to emulate.
“It’s a great opportunity for the boys who have been pushing their case in the reserves,” May said.
“It’s the next man up mentality, hopefully the injuries aren’t too long but the boys that come in take the opportunity and get some great experience out of it.”
The Suns head north with a perfect 3-0 record while the Lions are still hunting for a first win.
May admits his team has probably enjoyed an easier fixture list than their northern neighbours but his sympathy only extends so far.
“I think I read somewhere over the weekend they’re almost the youngest team in the comp so it’s a bit ironic that our big brother’s probably younger than us,” he said.
“They’re going to be fired up and I hope our boys are as well.”