Some tough calls await Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna as he looks to trim his player list for 2013 but it seems Josh Toy's fate has been sealed.
Toy is expected to be traded at season's end after he was the only player axed ahead of Saturday's AFL clash with Adelaide following their last-round win that cost Carlton coach Brett Ratten his job.
The 20-year-old defender has found it difficult to settle on the tourist strip and appears to have played his last game for the Suns following a disappointing three-disposal effort against the Blues.
Toy would be of interest to several Melbourne clubs.
But McKenna said narrowing down the seven players he had to cut ahead of the 2013 season would be tough.
A young Suns squad has responded magnificently to an injury crisis which at one stage claimed 20 players, winning three of their past six games including the Carlton boilover.
"If you asked me that in round six, I'd have said the decision to cut seven players off our list, I would have said it was a no-brainer," McKenna told reporters.
"I could have given you 10 or 12.
"Right now, I'm going to have some more grey hairs because it's going to be a lot tougher."
The Suns' 46-strong roster must be trimmed to 42 while also making way for a minimum three draftees.
Toy being cut for Jeremy Taylor against Adelaide appears to have created one vacancy.
"Given how we've performed, there's going to be some competition for spots, which is fantastic - there'll be a fight on," McKenna said.
"There's nobody in this side right now - bar the captain (Gary Ablett) - that can say I'm the No.1 in this position.
"All those positions are up for grabs and the competition is certainly healthy going into next season.
"As dark and gloomy as this year may have seemed, on the back of our second-year players really carrying the load, I'm pleasantly encouraged about going into next year."
The Suns cut players a week after the 2011 season ended but assistant Shane O'Bree said on Friday they would take their time this year.