Journeyman Sun brings up AFL half-century

Rob Forsaith
After a slow start to his AFL career, Suns' Nick Holman will play his 50th senior game on Saturday

Gold Coast forward Nick Holman will celebrate his 50th AFL match on Saturday, almost seven years after being drafted by Carlton.

Holman is proof that hard work and patience can pay off.

The 25-year-old is also a prime example of how shrewd recruiting has helped drive the Suns' rise under coach Stuart Dew.

Holman was de-listed by the Blues in 2015, having managed nine games in his two seasons at the battling club.

He moved to Adelaide, worked as an apprentice electrician and played two SANFL seasons with Central District.

The Suns were convinced Holman had more to offer at the highest level and recruited him via the 2017 rookie draft.

The pressure forward played every game for the expansion club in 2018, only to fear being de-listed again after his 2019 campaign was derailed by a stress fracture in his back.

Holman was ultimately offered a two-year contract extension, a career first, and will tick off his half-century when the Suns attempt to clamber back into the top eight with victory over Sydney at the SCG.

"At the end of last year, mum and dad mentioned it (the 50-game milestone)," Holman said.

"I hadn't thought much about it until last week, when we had a few milestone games and it was mentioned that mine was next.

"It's been a long journey.

"I was lucky to get drafted by the Suns ... it's been a really good experience and I look back fondly at the memories."

Holman was part of the team that rolled the Swans at the SCG in round 18 of the 2018 season.

It was the Suns' only win between rounds six and 23 during Dew's first year in charge - and perhaps the biggest boilover of that season.

They now return to the ground as favourites despite a two-game losing streak, with a maiden finals berth a legitimate target to aim for.

"We won't look past this week, but we really need this win to get us in the top eight," Holman said.

"We don't want to be an inconsistent side.

"Sydney will bring their contested game and we have to match that, that's our strength as well. If we bring our best, we know we can beat them."