AFL story just beginning for Sun Rankine

After the trauma of his injury-marred start to life as an AFL footballer, Gold Coast forward Izak Rankine is now out to become vital part of the Suns' future.

IZAK RANKINE.
IZAK RANKINE. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Gold Coast small forward Izak Rankine admits the injury saga that wrecked his start to life as an AFL footballer left him lacking confidence in his own body.

The highly-touted Adelaide product was on track to make his AFL debut in 2019 before hamstring and hip injuries kept him sidelined for the entire campaign.

Rankine did eventually debut last year and has since gone on to make 15 appearances for the Suns, kicking 16 goals.

Ever-present so far in 2021, Rankine says it took him a while to trust his body after his multiple injury setbacks.

"At the start, it was pretty scary, you're kind of traumatised a little bit, especially with the hamstrings and being kind of a speedy player, you need those hamstrings," Rankine told AAP.

"Once you get the confidence in, you get the k's in, you get the games under your belt, you build that confidence and don't really worry about it too much.

"I feel like that's past me now. I have my body to a good state to be able to get up every week."

Having now established himself as a Suns' regular, Rankine's next challenge is to make the step from hyped prospect to becoming a reliable and mature cog in Stuart Dew's team.

The 20-year-old says he's only too aware he's far from the finished product.

"Obviously I've missed my first year and a bit of my second year so still trying to set myself up and just trying to go to that next level," Rankine said.

"I'm still working on that as every game goes by.

"My teammates around me, the coaches around me, offer a lot of support and a lot of guidance for me so I'm happy where I am."