Sam Day is working his way back to his best following last year’s shoulder injury. Picture: AAP Image/Joe Castro.
Sam Day is working his way back to his best following last year’s shoulder injury. Picture: AAP Image/Joe Castro.

Day under pressure from recruit

Foundation Sun Sam Day could put his Round 1 selection hopes on the line if he plays against Sydney with the form of uncapped recruit Chris Burgess heaping pressure on the man with 110 AFL games to his name.

Burgess has laid down the gauntlet to incumbent Gold Coast forward who is working on getting back to his best after building his fitness following his return from a serious shoulder injury.

The 2018 West Adelaide SANFL player impressed in the club's scratch match and again against the Western Bulldogs in last weekend's JLT Series game in Mackay, kicking two goals and providing a strong target in front of goal.

Gold Coast football manager Jon Haines said it was a near full-strength team rolled out by the Suns, outside of those rested including Pearce Hanley and Jack Hombsch, showing Burgess was right in the frame to jag a Round 1 debut.

"Chris has been really impressive," Haines said.

 

Chris Burgess and Izak Rankine during a Gold Coast Suns AFL training session on November 26, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Chris Burgess and Izak Rankine during a Gold Coast Suns AFL training session on November 26, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"Not only on the weekend but throughout the whole summer, he has adapted to the AFL environment.

"In terms of our key position stocks Burgo certainly adds to that.

"He has been playing and training as a forward through the summer but he has the capacity to play at both ends as well. He is super impressive and gives everything."

Burgess, 22, was one of three state league players picked by Gold Coast as part of the Special Assistance package the club received from the AFL.

Gold Coast won't make many changes to the side for this Sunday's second JLT game against the Swans in Lismore but Haines said Day could get a shot at stating his own Round 1 case.

"Sam has been working his way back into top fitness and in the last month it's been really pleasing with the way he is moving and progressing," Haines said.

"It's competitive at the moment. We have a good availability of players, particularly in our key positions. He will put his hand up for selection this week in Lismore."

News Corp Australia


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