IZAK Rankine possesses football skills like few others, but if there's something that rivals his love of kicking a Sherrin, it's the love for his family.
Rankine is the sixth of seven children to Ronald and Kerry, and it doesn't take long chatting with the 18-year-old before talk switches to his family.
Quite simply, Rankine wants to make them proud.
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Speaking to AFL.com.au, the prodigiously talented South Australian conceded his trip home in the three-week Christmas break was emotional but said there's nowhere he'd rather be than Gold Coast.
"My family is big and we've always been tight knit," Rankine said.
"When I went back it got pretty emotional.
"They were just happy to see someone in the family had made it.
"I'm just waiting to pounce, take my opportunity and shine, do my thing and make everyone proud back home.
"I love my family.
"I've always had their support from the start and now I'm going to have to be my own man, do my own thing and hopefully I make them proud."
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Rankine has fitted seamlessly into life as a professional in his first two months at the Suns.
Taken third by Gold Coast in last year's NAB AFL Draft, the two-time under-18 All Australian has recently moved in with teammate Sean Lemmens after spending his first four weeks with CEO Mark Evans.
Lemmens is quietly spoken but diligent and showing his young teammate the ropes of being an elite athlete. On paper, it's an ideal match.
Rankine's attitude around the playing group is infectious. He's light-hearted, always has a smile, is cheeky, loves to joke and can chat with players of any age.
He doesn't lack for confidence, either.
On the club's pre-season training camp in New Zealand in December, the players each hit four golf balls across a ravine to a target approximately 100m away.
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The 40-plus players would gather around as each player hit their golf balls.
Despite having clearly never picked up a club in his life – a second-up air swing confirmed that – Rankine was the second player to grab a club and hit in front of teammates he'd known less than three weeks.
"Growing up and having a big family I've always had a big audience and we'd muck around and that's where the confidence comes from," he said.
"Just showing everyone up. I like to get out of my comfort zone.
"When I feel scared I like to face that and get rid of the fears. That's just my personality.
"My dad always told me and my family that if I'm scared of something to just attack it and face it and get rid of it."
With the season getting closer, Rankine said he loved the "grind" of training every day.
"There isn't any hierarchy here, no egos, everyone is pretty young and learning so I think I fit in pretty well," he said.
"I love it. I don't think I'm looking to go back to Adelaide, I love it too much up here and loving the boys up here.
"There's a lot of opportunities for me.
"I'm loving the vibe and the culture we're starting to build. Having Dave Swallow and [Jarrod} Wittsy wanting to make the club better (by signing five-year deals), it's good to see that."
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Although there's understandable hype around the midfielder/half-forward, Rankine said he's keeping things pretty simple ahead of his first season.
"At the end of the day it's a game and you've got to have a little bit of fun," he said.
"Just come in and play your role and not do too much, just defend first and everything else will take care of itself.
"I think I'm pretty coachable, whatever they want me to do I'll do to my best and I'm looking forward to the season."