Confidence in one another and a disciplined performance are set to be keys for the Gold Coast SUNS ahead of Saturday night’s mammoth AFLW clash against Richmond.
The SUNS head to Melbourne on the cusp of three straight wins for the first time in club history, riding a wave of confidence following two strong results against experienced outfits in St Kilda and Port Adelaide.
It’s only the second time the SUNS will leave the Sunshine State so far this season, but with an unbeaten home record under their belts, vice-captain Bess Keaney says everyone’s riding a wave of confidence.
“We’re feeling really good as a group. It was great to get the win in front of a home crowd and that gives us a lot of excitement and momentum coming back into the club this week, everyone is up and about and ready to get stuck into this weekend,” Keaney said.
“We looked at the game, we were really happy with three quarters and felt we let them back into it a bit in the last, mostly with our discipline.
“It’s now about discipline both in sticking to our game style and then not giving away free kicks that we shouldn’t. We just want to get back to our style and play that for four quarters.”
A four-quarter effort is what it will take to topple the Tigers at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday with the hosts sitting perched inside the top 8 – ahead of the SUNS on percentage alone – following its own impressive victory against premiership contenders Brisbane last round.
The SUNS will be looking to gain an advantage around the contest with a midfield featuring the likes of Charlie Rowbottom, Claudia Whitfort, Ellie Hampson and Alison Drennan continuing to develop its synergy and improve with each passing week.
“We have some young girls in the midfield who are in their second and third seasons now. Charlie’s growth has been incredible, Claudia continues to go from strength to strength each week,” Keaney added.
“To have girls like them streaming out of the midfield is great and it’s giving our talls the best chance to get to work. That gives us confidence right across the ground, that players like them are standing up and taking a lead.”
The impact of moments of individual brilliance is also not lost of Keaney with a passage of play late in the last term against Port Adelaide from off-season recruit Tahlia Meyer an example of the identity the SUNS are looking to build.
“Relentless is a trademark we want to build our game on,” she added.
“That moment in the last quarter when we needed someone to stand up and relieve the pressure, to see her do that, it looks like just a moment but for me it epitomises what she does and brings to the team every day.”