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Coach Guy McKenna said Saturday night's loss to the Brisbane Lions was so bad it reminded him of Gold Coast's dark first two seasons.

10:13pm  Jul 26, 2014

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Sam hoops towards brighter days

April 6, 2013 11:09 AM

Sam-Day.jpg

Sam hoops towards brighter days

I prided myself as a junior on my hands and marking ability, but since I have been up here I haven’t been able to stick them
Sam Day has revealed he practised shooting a basketball over the summer in a bid to improve his inconsistent marking ability.

The exciting 20-year-old has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2013 Season, but it hasn’t always come easy for the 196cm South Australian who has worked tirelessly to improve his contested marking at the elite level.

“I prided myself as a junior on my hands and marking ability, but since I have been up here I haven’t been able to stick them,” said Day.

“I’ve been able to leap for the ball but I haven’t been able to come down with it.”

But the grass is looking greener at Metricon Stadium for the promising youngster, producing a strong NAB Cup campaign and a solid performance in the team’s season opener against St. Kilda – providing clean contested marks around the ground and strong leads inside forward-50.

Aside from putting in the hard yards over the pre-season under Stephen Schwerdt’s new fitness regime, Day has credited his love of basketball for helping him rediscover his touch with the Sherrin.

“I’ve been shooting the basketball a bit… back in my old days I use to play basketball Friday night and Saturday morning, and then would go and play a game of footy on the Saturday afternoon,” said Day.

“I guess that might have helped with my touch with the ball in my hands and getting that touch.”

Unfazed by the external pressure mounting on the tall forward to perform this season, Day said his main focus was to help his side move up the ladder.

“You look at people like Lance Franklin, Tom Hawkins and other big forwards and they didn’t start to really start emerging as those key players until they were 23 and 24-years-old,” Day said.

“I’m just trying to do the right thing by the team and cement my spot in the side and hopefully I can bear the fruits later on.”

With veteran midfielder Michael Rischitelli labelling this Saturday’s match against Sydney Swans as the “best test” for the playing group, Day said the players could not afford to take the match too lightly despite their solid performance over the Saints.

“In the past we have taken the foot off the petal after we’ve had a win, so hopefully we can stick our heads down and get off to a good start,” said Day.

“When we have lapses we tend to let sides run away with it a bit so if we can compete for four quarters against the best side from last year we can give them a red-hot crack.”