AFL legend Malcolm Blight believes Gary Ablett’s exit from Gold Coast back to Geelong has been a blessing in disguise for the Suns.
Many thought Gold Coast would fall even lower down the ladder after Ablett walked out on the club, but they have started the season with two wins in a row for just the second time in the club’s history.
Blight told SEN’s Whateley on Thursday morning, that what was a struggling midfield with not much A-grade talent outside of Ablett, has improved because they can no longer rely on him.
“Gary Ablett Jr is one of my all-time favourite players (but) I just wonder now with their midfield. I thought they might struggle a bit, but what they’re all doing is they’re all chipping in,” Blight said.
“They have got an even spread through there…They all take the responsibility of five to ten per cent more so they’re giving the forwards more chance.
“If you give a guy like Tom Lynch a chance, you’re going to get some goals kicked on you.
“There is just a nice mix in that midfield, Steven May is a jet down back, you’ve got Tom Lynch up forward and Sam Day back in helps.
“Stuart Dew has obviously got them all singing the same hymn.”
The Suns will spend an extended period of time in Perth over the coming weeks as they play two matches in a row at Optus Stadium.
With their home ground, Metricon Stadium, being occupied for the Commonwealth games, Gold Coast will not get a home game for the first 11 rounds of the season.
The two-time premiership winning coach said while the travel doesn’t seem to have affected the team yet, it will take its toll on them eventually.
“The 11 away games at the start of the season was always going to be their Achilles heel and it still might be,” Blight said.
“They’re in Perth for the next ten days because they’re playing two games there. Teams have tried this over the years and I think it is 0-28. I think the great Brisbane team might have done it at one stage.
“You live out of a suitcase and live abnormally for 10 days. I get why you’re doing it instead of going backwards and forwards, but I don’t think it has ever worked. It leaves a horrible taste.
“After these next two weeks in Perth, if they can win both of them, look out.”
Gold Coast will look to go 3-0 against Fremantle on Saturday afternoon at Optus Stadium.