Gold Coast wasn't the most fun club to be around last season, but Jarrod Harbrow says the tumultuous year might be just what it needed.
With just four wins and a draw coupled with a calamitous injury toll and off-field misdemeanours, it was a nightmare first year for new coach Rodney Eade.
And while Harbrow described it as "frustrating", he said what happened this year would determine whether 2015 was a waste of time.
"It wasn't the best place to be around," Harbrow told AFL.com.au.
"There was always something coming up each week and it takes away your focus from what we should be focusing on, and that's playing football and winning games.
"With all that other stuff going on, it just distracts you."
Now 27, Harbrow has long been seen as an influential player around the SUNS, and was recently added to the club's leadership group.
READ: GC SUNS confirm leadership model
"Rocket's made a big stand," he said.
"Everyone is held to account and we all have to live up to high standards. I think the boys are now only starting to get that.
"It was a frustrating year but maybe we had to have it? It's not ideal, but this year will show how much the boys care and how much they want to be part of this football club."
Harbrow says the pre-season signs are promising, with – aside from Jaeger O'Meara – a full list on the training track and a greater understanding of everything it takes to play at the highest level.
"It definitely feels like a new football club," he said.
READ: GC SUNS & AFL launch the Jarrod Harbrow Leadership Academy
"Last year was a massive lesson to learn, massive education.
"You're always learning something, every day you're learning something new.
"Ideally you wouldn't like that to ever happen again, but as long as you learn from it and that never happens again at our football club, it won't have been a waste.”