AFLW Season 7 Glass Half Full/Empty: Gold Coast
IN a new approach to the AFL Women’s end of season reviews, Rookie Me Central casts both a glass half full and half empty lens over each side’s campaigns.
Today’s team is Gold Coast, who just missed out on finals in Season 7.
GLASS HALF FULL
Despite losing Sarah Perkins at the end of Season 6, the Suns have actually increased their scoring power in Season 7.
With the addition of Courtney Jones into the squad, plus Tara Bohanna and Jacqui Dupuy growing more and more as the season progressed, it saw the Suns increase their figures in several categories, including average goal efficiency percentage and average shot efficiency percentage.
Rowbottom’s star power
One Sun who had a stellar season once again was none other than Charlie Rowbottom.
Averaging 22.5 disposals a game, 254.1m gained a game and a whopping 6.9 tackles a game, it was another stellar season from the young star who is set to be the cornerstone of Gold Coast’s build and growth for years to come.
Strong Emerging Mids
Speaking of Rowbottom, she is one part of an emerging groups of midfielders at the Suns that really started to show their colours in Season 7.
Rowbottom combined well with the likes of and to record the highest average clearances in the club’s history (25.6) and set a solid foundation to build on in the coming years.
QLD talent pool
As much as Season 7 was ultimately not a successful one, it does come with its perks.
By finishing under Brisbane, they get the first look at what is a pretty deep Queensland talent pool.
Although due to draft rules they cannot pick up the likes of Darcie Davies and Rania Crozier until after Season 8, there is still the likes of Laura Blue, Mikayla Martin and Abby Hewett available who were unlucky not to get picked up in the 2022 draft.
GLASS HALF EMPTY
Still didn’t make finals
One of the biggest goals of any football clubs is to make finals, and the fact of the matter is Gold Coast did not make finals for the third season in a row. They got close again just like Season 6 but ultimately missed the finals again.
One glaring issue with the Suns this season was their ability to get wins on the road.
They only won once on the road in Season 7, and that was to eventual wooden spooners Sydney, so this is a glaring issue the Suns need to fix heading into Season 8. If they want to match it with the best and make finals, they need to find a way to win on the road.
Gap to top sides
In connection with the previous dot point, there is still quite a gap between the Suns and the best of the competition.
All of Gold Coast’s wins in Season 7 came against bottom 10 sides, and they got comprehensively beaten by both eventual Grand Finalists Melbourne and Brisbane.
Attracting Star Power
One thing Gold Coast have struggled for a number of years is attracting the top end talent to the club. They lost much of their best talent after Season 6, so the question will be can they make themselves attractive enough to the top end talent of the competition to make them want to come to the club.
Gold Coast showed in Season 7 that they are a team on the rise, but just did not quite fully have it together to crack back into one of those finals spots.
However, they had a huge list turnover at the end of Season 6 so to be able to finish as high as they did is a huge achievement and should not be taken lightly. A couple more years together and the cohesion will build and the team will go places.