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Alex Sexton at the crossroads

Alex Sexton has played 158 games for the Gold Coast Suns, plus a healthy number of NEAFL/VFL games, but having spent four months in the reserves, the vultures are circling ahead of the two-week void of AFL footy content.

When the GC17 licence was awarded and the state of Queensland divided up into Lions and Suns zones by local government areas, a teenage Alex Sexton knew he could be headed to the fledgling club in his draft year.

Fast forward to 2022 and he is the fourth-longest tenured player at the club, with the third-most games in Suns colours amongst currently listed players, plus the second-most goals for the Gold Coast over an 11-year period in which they collectively scored the least number of majors.

Technically a small forward, Sexton plays above his height, scoring at a touch under a goal a game, although he played a lot of footy early doors further upfield.

The Redlands product, from a region between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, is a well-loved leader at the club by staff and fans alike, but it is his leadership among the players that has become his trademark.

In season 2022, his 11th since being drafted in 2011, Secco played just the four senior games after a pre-season disrupted by surgery caught up with him, leading to a long and frustrating road back through the VFL.

Six goals on return to the senior side, after 27 majors in 13 games for the finals-bound VFL side, showed that there is plenty of life left in the old dog (who is still shy of his 29th birthday).

The beauty of Sexton’s talent is that he is clutch in the moment, whether it’s a mark and bomb for goal outside the fifty or an unlikely snap in congestion.

Put simply, he has carried the team at times, personifying the team’s locker room motto “be a Sherpa”.

At his best, he contributes a couple of goals a game through his own shots and goal assists, which the coaches will take any day.

The question isn’t whether he has lost it because he has just proven he still has it, but whether he can continue to produce his best when the team needs him.

Along with Sam Day and Rory Thompson, Sexton knows that his spot is no longer secure in the best 22, yet like his foundation teammates he is determined to continue to push standards and help the club in whatever way he can.

Alex Sexton celebrates a goal

(Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

He has been a leader amongst players in the push for retention and has a contract for 2023, so he won’t have to sell his soul for another crack at the big time.

His season isn’t over either, with an elimination final in the VFL at home against the Box Hill Hawks next week and a chance to lead his young teammates to further success.

Sources close to Secco say he was lucky to even get on the field for the start of the season and the club’s maturity policy appears to have given him a few games as an incumbent to prove he was back on track.

Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out that way, with fitness and form keeping him in the reserves as younger teammates went past him, only for injuries to gift him a final chance to add to his impressive resume.

He isn’t going to be traded or delisted. Alex Sexton means too much to the club for that to even be considered.

The man himself has said he’ll keep playing VFL if that’s what the club wants him to do as long as he can help them to succeed.

Going on his performance against North Melbourne, he is in fairly select company to kick a bag of six this year and no doubt he’ll be reminding everyone that “Sixton” still has cache.

He started a Sun and he’ll remain a Sun, no matter what observers desperate for a headline have to say about it.

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