A strong finish to the season will go a long way to validating the growth and improvement of the Gold Coast SUNS side this year, setting the tone for a bright future ahead.
Games against ladder leaders Geelong Cats and an 18th placed North Melbourne pose different challenges in the coming fortnight and defender Sean Lemmens has called on his side to give their all.
“We’ve got two weeks left – we want to enter our break on a high,” Lemmens said.
“Having momentum into the offseason will be huge, so these last two games are really important.”
The maturation of the SUNS has been evident in the back half of the season with the result of five of the past seven games determined by less than two goals.
To Lemmens, the absolute fight shown up until the final siren in games is testament to how invested this playing group is to this club and what they are building.
“It shows heart – to come back like that and to stick at it until the last siren shows a lot of heart and a lot of care for the club,” he said.
“That’s the starting point.”
The defender acknowledges that slow starts have hurt his side and forced them to rely on late surges in games and said that will be an active focus at training this week.
“We didn’t start the greatest – it’s no secret,” he said.
“Our training sessions will be around the starts to the game – coming out with some intensity and passion.
“We’ll bring that at our main session this week.”
While injury has greatly impacted the SUNS defensive options in the back half of the year Lemmens is dedicated to stepping up to do his role against an in form Geelong outfit.
The Cats have not lost a match since their Round 9 clash against St Kilda – a side they went on to defeat by 45 points just last week.
Restricting Geelong’s scoring opportunities and working as a cohesive back six will be front of mind for Lemmens, who believes they’re up to the task.
“They’re a great team – to test ourselves against the absolute best is exciting, so we are looking forward to that challenge,” he said.
“They have a lot of good forwards, so I will be playing my role in locking one of them down - [I want] to continue with my consistency.”