SUNS ruckman Ned Moyle says going head-to-head with co-captain Jarrod Witts is the perfect stepping stone to a potential AFL debut.
Moyle was a revelation for the SUNS VFL squad last year, playing a key role in its charge to a preliminary final as well as earning a berth as Ruck in the 2022 VFL Team of the Year.
Earning an AFL debut sits high on the 2023 wish list for the 206cm ruckman who last year signed a contract extension at the club until the end of the 2024 campaign.
Speaking from the SUNS pre-season camp on the Sunshine Coast, Moyle says the work on the training park, which has pitted him against his 209cm skipper, is the perfect recipe to have him primed for a crack at the AFL.
“That’s my main goal this season, to get a game at some point,” Moyle said.
“I’m pretty lucky to be playing as a bit of an understudy to Wittsy which is fantastic for my development.
“He keeps helping me improve and hopefully I’ll get my opportunity.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to go up against someone like Wittsy. Especially on match sim days, spending pretty much an hour just going toe-to-toe against him, he’s one of the best rucks in the competition.
“It gives me a lot of confidence that if you can try go toe-to-toe with him then you can match it with a lot of other players going around.”
Moyle was a key part of a SUNS VFL squad who made history in 2022, qualifying for the club’s first VFL Finals campaign.
The 20-year-old, who averaged almost 40 hitouts a game last season, says the SUNS playing group are eyeing more finals history
“It would be pretty amazing. We’re pretty lucky as a group that we can be the pioneers of something special here,” Moyle added.
“We’re all trying to be the first to play (AFL) finals for the SUNS – the sky’s the limit to push for success and win premierships.
“We’re pretty confident in our processes from last year. We’ve brought in a couple of new boys and we’re just sharpening our weapons to keep building on the positive improvements we made last year.”
SUNS fans will get their next chance to see Moyle and his SUNS teammates in action on Thursday, February 23 at the Austworld Centre against Essendon in a six-quarter scratch match. First bounce 4pm and entry is free of charge.