Main content

Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Bluey hints at Lonergan debut

Michael Whiting  February 15, 2013 6:30 PM

272904-tlsnewsportrait.jpg

Jesse Lonergan is in the mix for a round one debut

A WORK ethic likened to Gold Coast's elite talent has helped propel rookie Jesse Lonergan into the frame for a round one debut.

The 18-year-old from Tasmania was taken by the Suns with the 13th pick of last year's National Draft, and has not put a foot wrong since.

And it's not just his 91kg man-sized body that has Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna excited.

After three seasons of senior footy with Launceston in the TFL, Lonergan is used to working hard to mix it up with the big boys.

"He's already mastered the art of training with intensity," McKenna said.

"He's naturally bigger and not used to the load, but he doesn't leave any stone unturned. You know you’re going to get as hard a trainer as you possibly can.

"I think he looks up to David Swallow, Dion Prestia, Jaeger O'Meara too. I think he looks at how those boys work. Jesse has a natural appetite for that but has seen those guys who are not much older and thought 'I want to train like that'."

Lonergan has been thrown into game simulations during the pre-season, going head-to-head with Swallow, O'Meara and Karmichael Hunt in the midfield.

He was a standout in the Suns' intra-club match and is all-but certain to play their NAB Cup openers against Hawthorn and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on February 23.

Gold Coast physical performance boss Stephen Schwerdt is also impressed.

"He's a good example of a player who has combined his given talent with some serious training," Schwerdt said.

"They (players with ready-made bodies) can fit in a lot easier into the AFL system. You do monitor what they do and make concessions, but he's pretty advanced for a first-year player."

McKenna has hinted Lonergan is a chance of lining up against St Kilda on March 30 when premiership matches begin.

"We've got to get through a NAB Cup but he's doing everything possible to be a chance," McKenna said.

"There's no hard and fast rules. Clearly Jesse, I would think, from what I've seen so far, will play senior footy for sure.

"Whether that's round one of the NAB Cup or round one of the season, he's certainly putting every foot forward to play senior footy. How much he can cope with, that's the great unknown."

Jesse Lonergan is a $129,700 midfielder in NAB AFL Fantasy. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.

Michael Whiting covers Gold Coast news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_mikewhiting