Seven's AFL expert Mark Stevens continues his club-by-club preview of the 2014 season with the team he says will finish the season in 13th place.
Stevo will gradually reveal his 2014 AFL ladder all this week on Yahoo7 Sport ahead of the first game of the season this Friday night
GOLD COAST SUNS
RD 3 – Gold Coast Suns v Brisbane Lions (Metricon Stadium)
RD 4 – Gold Coast Suns v Hawthorn (Metricon Stadium)
RD 6 – Gold Coast Suns v GWS (Metricon Stadium)
RD 5 – Melbourne v Gold Coast Suns (MCG)
Season defining games
RD 7 – North Melbourne v Gold Coast Suns (Etihad Stadium)
RD 9 – St Kilda v Gold Coast Suns (Etihad Stadium)
RD 10 – Gold Coast Suns v Western Bulldogs (Metricon Stadium)
Jack Martin, Greater Western Sydney Trade Incentive
Jacob Gillbee, Delisted
Kyal Horsley, Delisted
Liam Patrick, Delisted
Maverick Weller, Delisted
Joel Wilkinson, Delisted
Jared Brennan, Retired
2013 was a breakout year for the Gold Coast Suns. With wins over more fancied opponents North Melbourne and Collingwood, the signs were there that things are beginning to click.
The major loss over the off-season was the retirement of Jared Brennan, however the Suns have managed to retain their core group, which will further develop as a unit this year.
Young guns Jaeger O’Meara, Charlie Dixon and Dion Prestia have another pre-season into their legs and it will be exciting to see them continue to grow as footballers.
The Suns have a great opportunity to notch up early wins, facing Brisbane Lions in the Q Clash in Round 3, Melbourne in Round 5 and Greater Western Sydney in Round 6.
Many are expecting big things from the Suns this season. If their talented youngsters show similar improvement as last season, they will give the top eight a nudge.
This is a really tough call to have the Suns so low because if everything goes right for them, they could even sneak into the top eight.
With Gary Ablett and emerging superstar Jaeger O'Meara and Jack Martin, the Suns will trouble a lot of teams - and should now win more games than they lose at Metricon Stadium.
They now have bigger bodies down back, but the main problem is up forward and the lack of a key forward best. Fix that and they will get there soon enough.
Catch the 2014 AFL Premiership season LIVE and FREE on Seven, starting with Collingwood v Fremantle this Friday night