Izak Rankine cops brutal parting shot from AFL club boss: 'Money talks'

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Izak Rankine's request to be traded away from the Gold Coast Suns has left club chairman Tony Cochrane disappointed in the 22-year-old forward. Pictures: Getty Images
Izak Rankine's request to be traded away from the Gold Coast Suns has left club chairman Tony Cochrane disappointed in the 22-year-old forward. Pictures: Getty Images

The shock news of Izak Rankine's request for a trade away from the Gold Coast Suns has left many within the club disappointed in the small forward, none moreso than chairman Tony Cochrane.

Though the Suns missed the finals, their 10-12 record represented a marked improvement over previous seasons and the the team, under head coach Stuart Dew, scoring wins against key opponents throughout the season.

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Drafted with the third overall pick in the 2018 draft, Rankine missed his rookie season before playing 48 games in the last two seasons for the Suns.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a career-best season in 2022, booting 29 goals and hitting career high averages in disposals, marks inside 50 and goal assists.

Gold Coast had been confident of extending Rankine's time at the club before the Crows tabled a massive five-year offer which could reportedly make him the highest paid player at the club, earning as much as $850,000 a season.

Rankine's decision comes after the club re-signed fellow young guns Ben King and utility Jack Lukosius to long-term deals, and Cochrane couldn't hide his disappointment when speaking to 3AW's Sportsday on Friday.

Cochrane said Rankine's move hurt on a number of levels - not only in light of the club's promising 2022 season, but also taking into account the considerable resources he said the club had put into getting the small forward's body right after they drafted him.

“When it finally tipped over was at the start of this week, certainly that’s when I was alerted to the fact it was kind of a lost cause,” he said..

“Incredibly disappointing because there’s so many people around our club that gave Izak an awful lot of time.

"I recall his first year, when they discovered he had a bit of an arthritic hip issue, pelvic area issue, and the time and trouble we went to medically to try and get to the bottom of that and get him sorted for life - not just for footy - and he didn’t play in that first year. It goes right back to those days.

“Stuey Dew has put in a phenomenal amount of time with this kid, he’s been like a second dad to him. He’s helped him in so many ways, to get around and get involved, and he’s also helped him enormously with his football.

“There’s a lot of very disappointed people up here and I know a lot of his fellow playing mates all feel they were all in this together, and they felt he was in this with them and would go forward with them.

“Money talks, huh?”

Gold Coast Suns disappointed after izak Rankine trade request

While Cochrane was perhaps strongest in his disapproval of Rankine's move, others at the club have publicly expressed similar sentiments.

The Suns had been hopeful of securing Rankine's signature as recently as late July, however those plans are now in tatters are they now turn to getting a suitable package in return for the 22-year-old.

"We have created a football club where our players and staff are committed to success, so we're disappointed with his decision," Suns player talent and strategy manager Craig Cameron said in a statement.

"We've provided an environment and support network around Izak since he was drafted to help him play his best football and it's disappointing that journey won't continue."

The Gold Coast Suns equalled their best season ruselt with 10 wins in 2022, laying promising foundations for next season. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
The Gold Coast Suns equalled their best season ruselt with 10 wins in 2022, laying promising foundations for next season. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The Suns will now enter negotiations with the Crows to finalise the trade with Adelaide's pick five and a second-round selection in the draft the most likely options.

Rankine's move to the Crows would give coach Matthew Nicks a potent forward line including Josh Rachele, Wayne Milera and Taylor Walker.

The Suns have been rebuliding since a tumultuous 2018 off-season which saw key forward Tom Lynch sign with Richmond and key defender Steven May depart for Melbourne - with both clubs enjoying premiership success since.

Suns teammates Nick Holman and Sean Lemmens both publicly impored Rankine to stay with the Suns earlier in August, with the playing group understood to be disappointed with the decision.

With AAP

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