Is Tiger recruit solution to Suns injuries?
SUNS NEAFL coach Nick Malceski has praised Corey Ellis for his immediate on-field impact as the club weighs up whether or not to rush the former Richmond midfielder into the senior side following injuries to David Swallow and Ben Ainsworth.
Ellis impressed in his club debut for Gold Coast's reserves in their 142-point win over QAFL premiers Palm Beach Currumbin in a practice match at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
The 22-year-old played a full game on the wing after missing about 10 weeks of training due to groin surgery prior to Christmas.
Ellis played the majority of his 27 AFL games for Richmond at halfback and as an inside midfielder and with Swallow and Ainsworth suffering knee injuries in the club's opening-round loss to St Kilda, Gold Coast may need to elevate two to the senior side for Sunday's game against Fremantle.
Will Brodie is fit and is also a potential option to replace Swallow while newest recruit Sam Fletcher can play inside but has only been at the club for a week.
Callum Ah Chee, Nick Holman and Brad Scheer could be looked at to fill the void left by Ainsworth in the forward line and midfield.
"Corey was pretty clean with the ball (against Palm Beach Currumbin) and played on the wing to get some run into his legs," Malceski said.
"It's hard to say (how many games he will need to get a senior call up).
"To play a full game is pretty good after coming back from his groin, he has put in a bulk of work in his rehab. I'd say he may need another game or so in the twos but you never know."
Malceski said all of the club's new faces and those returning from injury showed promise.
"Nick came back from his back injury and played a good game, Jack Leslie came back from his patella problem and played three quarters too," Malceski said.
"Our first year players like Jez McLennan, Caleb Graham, who has played with us before through the academy, and (Ben) King all played well.
"I asked Sam what he thought after the game and he said he didn't know it would be so slippery with the dew in the heat.
"He is an inside mid which we are after. Hopefully he can develop quite nicely over the year and push himself up."
Gold Coast's reserves will play Brisbane's seconds this weekend in their final pre-season game before their NEAFL season begins on April 6 with a round one game against Canberra in the nation's capital.