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How long has Karmichael got left 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 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, and also became 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 an established AFL side, his value is diminishing, and becoming overshadowed by the team’s success.

All the cross over rugby fans he 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.

Cover Image: Keith McInnes – http://www.flickr.com/photos/keith_mcinnes

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