The news that Joel Jeffrey had been ruled for the remainder of the season tempered the Gold Coast Suns ‘celebrations for Jack Lukosius’ new contract.
The Gold Coast Suns lost Joel Jeffrey for the remainder of the AFL season, with the talented young striker having right knee surgery.
What was thought to be a minor injury sustained in the Suns’ victory over Adelaide last Sunday turned out to be far worse than expected, with scans revealing a ruptured lateral meniscus ending his campaign.
“It’s really a shame,” Suns manager Stuart Dew said Thursday.
“Joel was adding something to our part and he felt comfortable on the level.
“He’s one we were really surprised at as he wasn’t too sore (after the game), but when he limped in on Monday, my heart sank because I was just disappointed for him because he worked hard to get to where he is. . “
News of Jeffrey’s end-of-season injury came shortly after teammate Wil Powell’s horrific ankle fracture and dislocation from the same match that also ended his 2022 season.
“You just want your kids to play,” Dew said.
Among the best news for the Suns in form ahead of Sunday’s trip to Port Adelaide, Jack Lukosius has signed a four-year contract extension.
“I couldn’t be happier to commit to the Suns for another four years,” said 21-year-old Lukosius, the second selection in the AFL 2018 Draft.
“I am really grateful that they have shown faith in me to play here and I would not want to be anywhere else.
“We have been working hard over the past few years. Now we’re starting to see some awards and I think it’s really exciting. “
Currently sidelined with a knee injury, the versatile Lukosius will be back in the next two weeks.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the pitch and I hope to play my role in getting the club forward where we want to go,” he said.
The Suns are not distracted by the suggestion that their hopes for the AFL Finals are at stake in Sunday’s clash at Adelaide Oval.
With his team just four points off the top eight with more than a third of the regular season remaining, Dew was surprised by rumors that this weekend’s battle had been considered a “do-or-die” bout.
“We have nine games to play,” Dew said.
“One of our strengths this year has been to keep our eyes pretty low on next weekend.
“We will continue with our theme. It worked. We are definitely not looking forward.
“I have had good experience throughout the championship for several years.
“I was guilty of that as a player and it doesn’t help you at all. I can certainly educate the group on the impact of that. “
The Suns, aiming for a fourth consecutive win on Sunday, are wary of a Power team just four points away in the standings.
“It’s a big challenge,” Dew said.
“(Port Adelaide) played a preliminary final last year. We’ve been keeping an eye on them for the past few weeks and they’ve built and are back to their best. “
Power have won six of their last eight games, including a 23-point win over the Sydney Swans last Saturday.
“They really mistreated Sydney over the weekend, and it’s hard to do,” Dew said.
“It’s a great test for us. A large away audience, we can’t wait. They play a tough style of footy.
“Our kids are pretty eager to go over there. We have a real belief, not a false belief, and that’s why we’re looking forward to Sunday. “
Suns star Matt Rowell echoed Dew’s “match after match” feelings despite his intense desire to be part of the first Suns team in club history to play football in the final.
“We want to win the finals and we know we have to win a lot, but at the moment we’re only looking at one week at a time,” Rowell said.
“This is all we can do: focus on who we have this week and prepare as best we can.”
Originally released as Joel Jeffrey, the last Gold Coast Suns player to be banned for the remainder of the season