Gold Coast teenager Jack Martin has revealed how frustrating a serious shoulder injury was to his mindset during his first AFL season.
Teen sensation Jack Martin admits his debut AFL campaign with Gold Coast has been a frustrating time.
The 19-year-old West Australian product went into the season touted as the best of the many young stars to come through at the Suns.
Sadly he’d barely had a chance to show his ability when he badly dislocated a shoulder in the opening minutes of the Suns’ round one win over Richmond.
That led to surgery and 12 weeks on the sidelines, a period Martin says was tough to handle after so much hype leading into the season.
“Knowing I’d put in all that work and I was here 12 months before, did the same thing as Jaeger (O’Meara), (there was) a lot of talk and that so coming out and doing it in round one was pretty hard,” he said.
“Every player deals with it, Gary (Ablett) is in that situation at the moment … I definitely learned a lot being injured.”
In the end Martin returned to play 11 matches in the 2014 season for the Suns, culminating in a career-best display against West Coast last Sunday.
Martin’s four-goal, 19 disposal performance wasn’t enough to prevent the Suns falling to a 52-point loss to the Eagles but it did earn him the AFL’s Rising Star nomination for round 23.
Martin doesn’t believe he’s a realistic chance of winning the overall award, he expects Brisbane’s Lewis Taylor to do that, but he says it’s a good way to end a tough first year.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve thought `why not just go out there and play my footy? Do the best that I know I can, which is good enough’,” he said.
“I’m going to have a big pre-season and I’ll be back bigger and stronger next year.”
Meanwhile the Suns have cut five players from their playing list including ex-Melbourne defender Matthew Warnock.
The departures of Warnock, Jackson Allen, Jack Hutchins, Jeremy Taylor and rookie Leigh Osborne mean the Suns have reduced their list to 38 players for the 2015 season, ending the list concessions given to the expansion club by the AFL.