Karmichael Hunt’s Future In The Game

When Karmichael Hunt first pulled on a Gold Coast Suns jumper he had many doubters. His first couple of matches in the VFL competition in 2010 were nothing to write home about and many AFL experts expressed their criticism about his recruitment to the AFL. Wayne Carey was quoted as saying “I just think he’s really going to struggle. I’m just not sure a rugby player – as good as he is – can do it”. Tony Shaw agreed with these sentiments stating “he just cannot play the game naturally and it won’t work”.

Since then Hunt has gone on to prove these doubters wrong and has played 41 AFL games with the Suns. He gave the Suns its first win in 2012 in spectacular fashion with a goal after the siren against Richmond in Cairns. He has also played a valuable role in the Gold Coast midfield playing alongside AFL legend Gary Ablett. Hunt has shouldered much of the in-and-under grunt work and constantly applies plenty of tackling pressure. But as the Suns continue to improve in leaps and bounds with an immensely talented young list, one has to wonder whether Hunt’s career in the AFL could be coming to an end. Gold Coast have an array of amazing young talent with midfielders such as Jaeger O’Meara, Jack Martin and Dion Prestia already signed up on long term deals. As these players and others that are coming through begin to establish themselves as senior players, will there be room for Hunt in Gold Coast’s best 22 side?

Hunt sent shockwaves through the Australian sporting community when his signing to the Gold Coast Suns was announced. The former rugby league star had done it all in his original sport, representing both his state and country. He would also become a handy rugby union player during his brief stint in France. Obviously his recruitment to the Suns was more as a marketing tool than what he could potentially offer as a player. But as the Suns become more of an established AFL side his value as a marketing tool is diminished and becoming overshadowed by the team’s success. All the fans he has been used to attract would already be interested by now and now it becomes all about winning games for the Gold Coast.

Nothing should be taken away from the efforts of Hunt and all that he has achieved in the AFL. But it would be an injustice for a sportsman the calibre of Hunt to be wasted in the Gold Coast’s reserves side when there is little doubt he could go back to rugby league or union and reclaim his position as a star.

By – Jackson Clark

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

Comments

  1. Peter Schumacher says:

    Yeah I reckon that’s about right, really.

  2. Peter_B says:

    Very thoughtful piece Jackson. I watched a couple of Hunt’s games last season and thought he was going to be a really good inside midfielder/tagger in the Scott Selwood/Matt Priddis mould. Not really quick but very strong. I can understand that he no longer fits in with the Suns game plan and brilliant young list, but he would get a game at many other clubs including my Eagles.
    I guess he got good $ and served a marketing role, but I agree with Jackson that he is an elite sportsman and seems a very decent determined bloke. I hope he moves clubs to someone that values his skill set or goes back to League.
    Would he fit into Union? They seem to pay big $ in Europe?

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