28/02/2024

Former No. 7 draft pick Elijah Hollands has waited two years to make his debut in the AFL. (Photo: AFL)

Young Gold Coast Suns midfielder Elijah Hollands will make his long awaited debut this week against rivals Brisbane.

Gold Coast Suns young midfielder Elijah Hollands will make his long awaited debut this week against rivals the Brisbane Lions. Against a red-hot Lions team, the Suns will be hoping to come out as winners in the Q Clash.

Drafted with the pick seven in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, Elijah Hollands will finally make his AFL debut this week.

The promising midfielder has waited two years for this opportunity and will take full advantage of it. Hollands found out during a team meeting that all of his hard work has paid off.

“It’s a very surreal feeling and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in on Saturday night – to be able to live out the dream of playing AFL footy is very exciting,” Hollands said.

“It has been a journey coming in with the rehab group and not getting stuck into footy until late last year in my first season.”

Hollands has been a force in the VFL, averaging 22 disposals per game. (Photo: Gold Coast Suns)

After rehabilitating from an ACL injury that occurred last season, Hollands has made a large impact for the Gold Coast Suns VFL side.

Appearing in 14 games, he has gone on to average 22 disposals and five marks, with eight goals to his name. The 20-year old credits the Suns coaching staff to helping him to perform at his best.

“I’ve been working with Rhyce Shaw, Jackson Kornberg, Stuart Dew and Steven King to work on some of the gaps in my game to help me perform the best I can,” he said.

Hollands is ready for his debut and the nerves are yet to kick in for him. Just like debutante Hewago Oea, he will be hoping to cement his spot in the young side. Alongside captain Touk Miller in the midfielder, Hollands is a player to watch in the midfield.

“I’ve definitely got the confidence I’m ready to go out there and I know if I bring my best footy I’ll be able to perform and match it with the best,” Hollands said after his selection announcement.

“I’ll have great support from the boys and I’m sure they’ll look after me in my first game.”

More Aussie Rules News

The Lions and Suns will do battle in a prime time Saturday night face off at the Gabba. Heading into finals season, this is a must win game for both sides.

Brisbane needs to win this game to keep its spot in the top four with Collingwood and Sydney hot on its tail. Gold Coast meanwhile, must win this game to keep its finals hopes alive.

After a good performance against the resilient Magpies where they narrowly loss by five points, the Suns beat the Tigers after the siren.

Unfortunately, their form in recent weeks disappeared when they faced Essendon last week. The Bombers were too good, beating them in every part of the ground before walking away with the 48-point win.

Coming back home from a disappointing performance, the Suns will be out in force against the Lions. Led by captains Touk Miller and Jarrod Witts, they have a lot to prove not only to the rest of the competition, but to their loyal fans.

Sitting 12th on the ladder with 32 points, it is still possible they make the top eight. To achieve finals in 2022, a win against the Lions are a must.

The Suns have continued to provide younger players with opportunities as they try and figure out who fits in the team. James Tsitas and Oea were the first two players to receive a call-up. Tsitas has only appeared once for the club, but Oea has now played three games straight.

Since making his debut, Oea has cemented his spot in the forward line with a strong pressure game. He’s kicked two goals so far, and is averaging 5.7 disposals and 3.3 tackles per game.

The last time the two clubs faced off was in Round 6, where the Lions ran away with a 52-point win. The Suns don’t have a good record in the Q Clash. Their state rivals have won the past six clashes by more than 45 points.

This round, the Gold Coast Suns will be hoping to change this result and will hope to record their first win against the Lions since 2018.

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