Many had tipped Gold Coast to be the worst team in AFL history this season, and while they won’t make the Finals it cannot be understated just how impressive they’ve been given their circumstances. One player that is having a career year in this surprise season is Brayden Fiorini.
This year was always going to be about the young guns, whoever the Suns had on their books to lead their future in the post-Tom Lynch and Gary Ablett era, and Fiorini has stepped up to the plate, showing the talent that the club has known him to possess for some time now.
Across his young career, Fiorini has averaged 23 touches, 4 tackles, 5 marks, as he has been slowly but surely blooded into Gold Coast’s midfield. With the unfortunate exodus that has been beset upon the club over the last few seasons, Fiorini has been forced to step up and step up he has.
Last season in 2018, albeit during an injury-plagued season, Fiorini finished at the top of Gold Coast’s Brownlow vote count, and the hope is that he can overcome his injuries to carry on his good form and show off his talent. So far in 2019 he has done so.
Across the opening two months of the season Fiorini is having his best year, 29 touches, 18 kicks, 5 marks and tackles, all his best work across his young career and his most recent performance against Port Adelaide suggests.
Although Gold Coast rolled over in the fourth quarter, Fiorini did his best work, putting up 38 disposals, 29 kicks, 1 goal and 5 tackles for all of his hard work as he won the ball at will and kept Gold Coast in it. Many see him as the future of the Suns, and if he keeps this up he may very well be.
An honourable mention has to be reserved for Sydney’s Tom Papley, who continued a great season with 4 goals against North Melbourne, as the speedster ran rings around North’s defenders.