After a knee injury derailed his pre-season, SUNS defender Jesse Joyce says he is finally getting some continuity in his football.
Joyce missed four weeks of match simulation in the pre-season with his injury, causing him to fall out of contention for a Round 1 AFL berth.
It forced the 21-year-old defender to earn his senior spot back through the NEAFL, but he’s now played six AFL games for the year and is building each week.
“Obviously I had a stalled start to the season starting out of the side but that was sort of part of my pre-season was a little bit stalled as well,” Joyce told SUNS Media.
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“It’s good to be back in the team now and I’m looking forward to just building some continuity.
“I think I am becoming more reliable down back and just adding more touches to the board as well.”
Joyce is part of a revamped back six in 2019.
The SUNS Academy graduate is playing alongside recruits Sam Collins, Jack Hombsch and Jordan Murdoch, as well as Charlie Ballard and Pearce Hanley who played less than half the season in 2018.
But together the defence have stood tall, with the unit conceding the ninth-least amount of goals from all clubs.
Joyce says he’s enjoyed forming new bonds in the backline.
“(They bring) just a really solid style of game,” Joyce said.
“Just having them all come in and play their role has been really massive.
“They’re all blue-collar players and we all really respect them and love playing alongside them.”
The SUNS return to Metricon Stadium for Round 8 against Melbourne this Saturday.
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With two wins already at home this season, Joyce says the team will go into the match confident of toppling the Dees.
“I think we’re definitely starting to build a bit of a fortress here,” he said.
“Our last couple of games it’s always been close but we’re always within touch at home.
“I think we know how to play here and it should be a really good chance for us to get up again.”