With 19-listed players lining up for the SUNS in their final NEAFL practice match on Saturday and the side enjoying a 92-point win, there is already plenty of pressure on those in Rodney Eade’s side to keep their spots.
Brandon Matera and Keegan Brooksby drew specific praise from reserves coach Stephen Daniel as they push for a senior recall.
“We’ve got a couple of boys who I felt put their hand up on the weekend,” Daniel told SUNS TV.
“Fish Matera come back and his attitude and the way he went about it was fantastic. He’s certainly looking at trying to get back up there and play some AFL football.
“Keegan Brooksby down back I thought was fantastic. He defended really, really well.
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“So there’s a couple of names I think are putting their hands up and putting pressure on the boys up there at the AFL level and just saying ‘hang on, there’s a few of us down here trying to get your spots’ and that’s always really healthy for your football club.”
With giant Aaron Sandilands awaiting the SUNS at Domain Stadium on Saturday, there could be a temptation for Eade to bring in big man Dan Currie to help combat the dominant Dockers ruckman.
Currie did his chances no harm with another solid performance at reserve level.
“He was terrific, wasn’t he? His work around the ground and his tap work and he took some really nice marks around the ground,” Daniel said.
“He moved around the ground really, really well so he’s putting pressure on there so we’re really happy with Dan, he’s coming along really well.”
Peter Wright was named as an emergency for the SUNS’ opening round clash and looked extremely dangerous in the first half in the NEAFL before fading after the main break.
The 19-year-old was able to take some big contested marks around the ground and his tackling pressure was ferocious.
“He started really well. Really well,” Daniel said.
“He took the game on early, took some really good contested marks. When he went into the ruck he moved back and he chopped in across the half back line, took a couple of really nice ones also.
“He was probably a little bit disappointed with a couple of efforts there in the second half but look, he did have a very, very good first half.”
Kade Kolodjashnij appears a chance to return to the senior line-up after missing the SUNS season opener against Essendon with illness.