Izak Rankine says the Gold Coast Suns’ decision to drop him towards the end of last season was a blessing in disguise and has breathed new life into his career.
The Suns are priced at 5/1 to finish in the top eight of the AFL and play finals and having Rankine back to his best will boost their chances of getting there.
Rankine was a revelation in the 2020 AFL season but failed to hit the same heights the season after which resulted in him being dropped from Stuart Dew’s side.
The Suns ace used the time to reflect and plan the rest of his career and following a strong pre-season he hit the ground running in round one against the West Coast Eagles.
Rankine booted four goals from 23 disposals at Optus Stadium and looking back he is grateful for being dropped ahead of round 20 in 2021.
"That was an internal decision made by myself and Stuey (Dew) and the club to take some time off footy," Rankine said.
"Obviously it didn't turn out how I wanted. I wanted to play twos for a while, but all the boys got locked down in Melbourne.
"I was up here enjoying time to myself at the back end of the season. I think it was a good refresher. I had a really good pre-season and now I'm excited for the year ahead."
Rankine has booted 32 goals from 31 career games and believes 2022 will be a big year for both him and the Suns.