tmedia
Main content

Latest Video

Team Announcement: Round 19

6:18pm  Jul 27, 2017

SUNS TV: Eade Presser

3:43pm  Jul 27, 2017

Last time we met: Richmond

9:54am  Jul 27, 2017

Latest News

Max-imum effort leads to senior debut for Spencer

GC SUNS Academy product Max Spencer is confirmed to make his AFL debut in Round 19.

8:30am  Jul 28, 2017

Gaz & May named for Round 19

Steven May and Gary Ablett have been named to take to the field against Richmond.

6:21pm  Jul 27, 2017

Max Spencer upgraded to senior list

Gold Coast local Max Spencer has earned a place on the SUNS' senior list.

4:30pm  Jul 27, 2017

Defensive stocks suddenly looking strong

Kieron Turner  March 22, 2016 4:22 PM

SUNS TV: Rory Thompson GC SUNS defender Rory Thompson speaks to SUNS TV in the lead up to Round 1 this Saturday at Metricon Stadium
AFL 2016 NAB Challenge - Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast

It can only help the team having the pressure for spots

In 2015, Gold Coast’s defensive stocks were often exposed as injury and suspension ravaged key members of the SUNS’ back six, particularly in the key posts.

Rory Thompson managed just 12 senior games with a hip flexor injury derailing his campaign while emerging star Steven May played 18 after copping an early-season suspension for a bump on Brisbane Lions captain Tom Rockliff.

As a result, inexperienced players were thrown to the wolves, so to speak.

However, with round one of the 2016 season just a handful of days away, the tides are turning at Metricon Stadium and turning strongly.

With the arrival of mature-aged rookie Tom Keough via November’s rookie draft, Keegan Brooksby’s transition from a ruckman/forward to tall defender and the continued development of Henry Schade and Jack Leslie, the talent pool at the SUNS in the defensive posts suddenly appears deep.

READ: Brooksby goes back to go forward

Having a full contingent of fit players in that space also allows the defenders to build chemistry together, a vital part of establishing a solid team defence capable of repelling the best opposition forward lines.

“It was good to get some consistent boys down there this year,” Rory Thompson told SUNS TV at Burleigh Heads on Tuesday.

“Last couple of years we’ve really had to rotate a lot of players through there who didn’t quite know the structures and things like that.

“So to settle it down a bit this pre-season and in the NAB Cup it’s been good for everyone.”

The healthy competition for spots in Rodney Eade’s senior lineup drives his players to work harder, to become better.

READ: SUNS looking for strong start

But it’s not just those banging down the door for selection who are looking to impress, it’s the incumbents like Thompson and May who are pushing their bodies to the limit day in, day out, determined to get the absolute best out of themselves.

“It can only help the team having the pressure for spots,” Thompson said.

“We’ve got some good new additions down there. Tommy’s been pretty good in the pre-season in the NAB Cup.

“Keegan Brooksby coming down another tall who can play multiple positions and Henry Schade and Jack Leslie still pushing for spots and playing some good footy.

“So it’s only going to push me and Maysie [Steven May] to try and better ourselves and try and really hold those spots down so it’s just good for the team.”