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Gold Coast goes for maturity at the rookie draft

Pre-season and rookie draft analysis Draft experts Callum Twomey and Nat Edwards analyse the 2014 NAB AFL pre-season and rookie drafts
Josh Glenn runs in the beep test during day 3 of the 2014 NAB AFL Draft Combine at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on October 02, 2014. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Josh Glenn at the NAB AFL Draft Combine
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GOLD Coast wanted maturity and that's exactly what they got at the NAB AFL Rookie Draft on Wednesday.

Aside from nabbing veterans Greg Broughton and Andrew Raines as expected, the Suns added four players with senior experience.

South Australians Josh Glenn and Keegan Brooksby, along with Coburg's Adam Saad and Bendigo's Tyrone Downie, will all make their way to Metricon Stadium.

Gold Coast's football department review at the end of the 2014 season highlighted a serious need for more experience, not only to help its senior team, but to bolster the winless NEAFL team.

Broughton was an unlucky delisting as the Suns needed to cull their list from 40 to 38 – in line with the rest of the AFL - but the club was always desperate to keep him after two strong seasons.

Raines has played 123 games with Richmond and the Brisbane Lions, is the ultimate professional and a great fit.

"We've got a nice blend we think," list manager Scott Clayton said.

"We wanted to take some mature-agers that can push for senior games if the opportunity arises, but can also steel up our NEAFL operation."

Selection No. 7 – Josh Glenn (Central Districts)
Clayton says: "We considered him strongly in the national draft. We think Josh can be a real inside-outside midfielder. He's a bit older, 20, a really good kick, carries the ball, can win it in middle and then go forward. He's flexible and just the sort of player we like."

Selection No. 25 – Adam Saad (Coburg)
Clayton says: "Lightning quick and a penetrating kick, he'll give us a bit of run out of defence, but maybe some forward impact as well. He can play on a man, but he can carry the ball and hurt the opposition."

Selection No. 42 – Keegan Brooksby (South Adelaide)
Clayton says: "A mature-age ruckman, he's 24 and won South Adelaide's best and fairest. In another life he turned down a basketball scholarship in America, so he's athletic. He comes from a good footy family, his father Phil played 278 games for South Adelaide at full-back. Keegan's a real competitive inside ruckman."

Selection No. 59 – Tyrone Downie (Bendigo Gold)
Clayton says: "He's 182cm, but Tyrone plays forward and is a brilliant mark for his size. He's also done some coaching in his time and at 26, we think he can bring some real on-field leadership. He's the perfect mix for us."

Selection No. 67 – Greg Broughton (Gold Coast)
Clayton says: "He's part of our family now. It was tough having him go off the list, but he was just out of contract at the wrong time. He'll be our nominated rookie (to be elevated to the senior list) and he's in. We always said we'd come to an arrangement. Greg really wants to end up on the Gold Coast, he likes it here and wants to be here. He's been terrific for us."

Selection No. 71 – Andrew Raines (Brisbane Lions)
Clayton says: "He's a manic trainer and very experienced. He's versatile and we've seen him play those run-with roles. He's got a great reputation and is a high quality young man. He's happy to help teach, but will also push for senior selection if he gets the chance."