Rischitelli urges confident SUNS to lift higher
Sydney is a great side… they’re a premiership team so you have to pay them a lot of respect
ACTING vice-captain Michael Rischitelli has said anything other than a 100% effort from the Gold Coast SUNS would not be good enough against the Sydney Swans, as the team prepares to travel interstate to take on the reigning AFL premiers this Saturday.
Rischitelli said the players were well aware of the challenge awaiting them in their Round 2 clash at the SCG this week.
“Sydney is a great side… they’re a premiership team so you have to pay them a lot of respect,” said Rischitelli.
“If we give them opportunities to start off well they’ll put us away… Our focus this week has to be to get a good start and definitely match, (if not) beat them at the contested football – which will then give us a good opportunity to win the game.”
Rischitelli added that the side's improved fitness and aerobic capacity was evident in their season opener against St. Kilda, as they fought back to chase down a third-quarter deficient in a thrilling 13-point victory over the Saints at Metricon Stadium.
“In the past we haven’t really started that well, (but) moving forward to this year and beyond we’ll be definitely looking to build momentum by getting a good start to the season.”
Meanwhile, the club has welcomed the key re-signings of Rory Thompson, Matt Shaw and Aaron Hall, who all extended their contracts until the end of the 2015 AFL Season.
Despite often flying under the radar, Rischitelli said the under-rated Shaw had earn the respect of the playing group - having played 34 of the GC SUNS possible 44 games.
“Shawy goes under the radar a fair bit but he’s pretty respected within the group,” said Rischitelli.
“He’s got a lot of pace and a lovely kick on him… it’s good that he’s signed up and I’m sure we’ll hear and see more of him throughout the rest of the season.”