Suns coach glimpses bright future despite loss to GWS

Steve Larkin |

Ethan Read was among the Suns’ youngsters to give hope to coach Damien Hardwick.
Ethan Read was among the Suns’ youngsters to give hope to coach Damien Hardwick.

Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick says he glimpsed a bright future despite sliding to a 28-point loss to GWS.

Hardwick made seven changes from a last-start beating, blooding three debutants – Sam Clohesy, Ethan Read and Will Graham – in the match at Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills.

And despite being overpowered late by the Giants, who scored five goals to two in the last quarter, Hardwick was encouraged by his youngsters.

Clohesy (22 disposals) and Read kicked their first AFL goals – as did second-gamer Jed Walter – while Graham was composed with 17 touches.

“They looked really good at various stages,” Hardwick said.

“Sam was outstanding on the wing and Will Graham looked very composed and poised and tough.

“And Ethan Read, for a key position player, together with Jed Walter … they will get great learnings out of playing against guys like Sammy Taylor and (Harry) Himmelberg.”

Twenty-two gamer Mac Andrew also produced a fine game in defence, collecting 10 marks and 24 disposals.

Andrew’s only real blemish came when he was outfoxed behind play by Toby Greene and gave away a free kick which the GWS captain converted for one of his five goals.

“He probably responded to Toby,” Hardwick said of the Egypt-born pick No.5 at the 2021 draft.

“Toby is one of those players, he’s very good at getting under the guard of other players.

“Mac will learn from it. I thought he was outstanding today, Mac.

“There’s a reason this guy went in the top 10 picks of the draft. He has  got some work to go on his fitness but we’re really pleased with the way played.”