Magin recalls night of the Suns' rise in the AFL

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Alik Magin of the Suns handballs during the round two AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Carlton Blues at The Gabba on April 2, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Alik Magin of the Suns handballs during the round two AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Carlton Blues at The Gabba on April 2, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) Chris Hyde

But, for Alik Magin, running out with the Gold Coast Suns for their first AFL match would probably settle into second place on his list of lifetime highlights.

It was round two of the 2011 season when 27,914 people watched on at the Gabba (Metricon Stadium was still being renovated) as the fledgling club confronted one that had been around for 147 years, Carlton.

A genuine 'local' from just up the road on the Sunshine Coast, Magin was one of 12 debutants to face the Blues that night, alongside experienced recruits such as Gary Ablett.
Magin would only play another seven senior games during his two years with the Suns, but said he would never forget that first one.

"Nothing can ever take that away from me," he told APN this week. "I will live with that for the rest of my life, being part of the first Gold Coast team."

The slightly built Magin was named on a half-forward flank, alongside Brandon Matera and Charlie Dixon.

"I wasn't really that nervous leading into the game, 'cause I'd played a couple of NAB Cup games, so all the nerves settled down leading into it," he recalled.

The then 19-year-old was solid, collecting 13 disposals, eight contested. But the Suns got a rude awakening - belted by 119 points.

The Blues had five goals on the board before a then clean-cut Dixon etched his name in the history books by kicking the club's first goal.

The result was one of three 100-plus defeats the Suns would experience in their first season.

"I don't think we expected too much, but we just had to dig in and sort of get a feel for what it actually took to compete at that level," Magin, now 24, said. "And that's all the first couple of years was I suppose - to develop."

At the club from the very first bounce in 2009, Magin has the distinction of being one of only four players who were apart of the Suns' first TAC Cup side, VFL side and AFL side, along with Rory Thompson, Zac Smith and Marc Lock.

"I think the TAC Cup year was one of the most fun I've had in footy," he said. "Everyone was trying to fight for a position on the AFL list, so there was a bit of competitiveness in the group, but such close mateship as well."

As Gold Coast embarks on its 100th AFL game tomorrow at Etihad Stadium against Carlton from last place on the ladder after a horror fifth season full of injuries and instability, Magin said he didn't recall any issues with club culture during his time with the Suns.

"Not at all," he said. "Everyone was 18,19 - in the same age bracket - everyone got along, hung out outside of training. There were no issues at all."

After being cut from the list in 2012, Magin enjoyed two successful seasons with Bendigo Gold in the VFL, winning the club best and fairest in 2013, but not a second chance at AFL level.

He is now loving life with a young family - partner Ash and baby Clay - living just north-west of Melbourne and playing with Kyneton in the Bendigo League alongside his brother and one-time Essendon player Rhys, which he hadn't done since the under-16s at Pomona.

"It was hard (finally giving up on an AFL return), but I gave it two fairly good years at Bendigo Gold," he said. "I'm happy with where I'm at now."


B:  Seb Tape, Nathan Bock, Campbell Brown;

HB:  Jarrod Harbrow, Karmichael Hunt, Nathan Krakouer;

C: Trent McKenzie, Daniel Harris, Michael Rischitelli;

HF: Danny Stanley Charlie Dixon Alik Magin;

F: Jared Brennan Zac Smith Brandon Matera;

Foll:  Josh Fraser David Swallow Gary Ablett (c);

Int: Marc Lock Harley Bennell Dion Prestia Josh Toy.

Coach: Guy McKenna

SYDNEY: 42 wins / 58 losses
WEST COAST: 55 wins / 44 losses / 1 draw
BRISBANE: 26 wins/ 74 losses
FREMANTLE: 35 wins / 65 losses
PORT ADEL: 46 wins / 51 losses / 3 draws

GOLD COAST: 25 wins / 74 losses
GWS GIANTS: 16 wins / 61 losses

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