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High-end draft talent won't be gifted games at Suns: Dew

'Alarm bells ringing' for big Sun Mitch Cleary and Riley Beveridge bring you an update on the Suns' pre-season

GOLD Coast will not play its high-end draft talent to appease the youngsters under the hope they commit long-term, says coach Stuart Dew.

Following the departures of co-captains Tom Lynch (free agent) and Steven May (traded), the Suns had three top-six selections at last year's NAB AFL Draft. 

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They chose South Australians Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine, followed by Victorian Ben King, starting a wave of commentary around the likelihood the teenagers would stay long-term. 

Speaking on Thursday, Dew said he would not be gifting games just to keep the trio happy. 

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"As a football club we'd like to think we won't be playing people on the fear they would leave and will play them on merits and how they behave around the football club and on the field," he said. 

"We're searching for a healthy list and a big list to pick from so that we can hold that true." 

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With May, Lynch, Aaron Hall, Kade Kolodjashnij and Jarryd Lyons all departing in the off-season, the established talent on Gold Coast's list has taken a hit – but not if you ask Dew.

"I think we've gained some talent through the draft and it depends on your definition of talent, I think character is certainly a part of that," he said.

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"You've got to have the right characters to bring that out. 

"You can have all the talent in the world but we're looking for the right mix, as are all teams. 

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"I know externally there's probably not a lot of expectations but we're here to compete, we're here to win, we need to be a more consistent football club.

"We know it's a big climb whether you're West Coast trying to back up the (premiership) season or coming from where we are. We're up for it."