Keegan Brooksby (left) of the Suns competes for the ball with Matthew Lobbe of the Power.
Keegan Brooksby (left) of the Suns competes for the ball with Matthew Lobbe of the Power. Chris Hyde

Tall order for Brooksby as last Sun standing

CALL him the Steven Bradbury of the Gold Coast.

The last (big) man standing, Keegan Brooksby, will be thrust into the limelight tonight when the Suns host Essendon at Metricon Stadium.

Brooksby will play just his second AFL game of the year when he moves into the ruck following the loss of Dan Currie to a foot injury suffered in the loss to Brisbane.

The Suns are now missing their top-three big men in Jarrod Witts (shoulder), Tom Nicholls (ankle) and Currie.

Ex-Kangaroo Currie only got his chance when former Magpie Witts went down.

Nicholls had been determined to play his first game for the season after taking over the No.1 ruck mantle in 2015 and forcing fellow original Sun Zac Smith to look elsewhere.

Brooksby will now do battle with Bomber Tom Bellchambers.

"Tommy was trying to get up for this week but he has missed three of four weeks now so even if he was available we couldn't select him at AFL level," interim coach Dean Solomon said.

"It is too much of a risk so Keegan Brooksby will get his chance to come up.

"(Brooksby) has been sensational at NEAFL level all year. His leadership has been absolutely super.

"He is driving really heavy standards and we know he can provide a good contest in and around the ball for us."

Solomon will coach against the side he helped win the 2000 premiership with as a player. And he wants a better showing than the one Gold Coast delivered in last week's QClash.

The Suns kicked just four goals to 13 in the second half. Solomon said it came down to fatigue of the mind, not the body.

"Our guys make poor decisions under fatigue and we are addressing that through training," Solomon said.

"In training we are making them make smarter decisions quicker and that's what you need to implement and transfer to game day.

"All our GPS stuff and running stuff is exactly the same to the opposition, it's just our mind is slower and that's what we need to work on."

Solomon said he wanted to stay at the Suns even if he was overlooked as Rodney Eade's long-term replacement.

"My first preference is to stay at the Suns," Solomon said.

"I still believe this club has a really bright future. There is a core of players in and around that first to four-year mark at the moment that can develop into a really good group."

News Corp Australia


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