Sam Collins knows more than most how powerful belief can be.
After being delisted at the end of 2017, Collins was overlooked by all 18 clubs and had to prove himself again in the VFL.
But the 24-year-old never gave up on his dream, and it was his belief in himself which earned the defender a second chance at an AFL career with the Gold Coast SUNS.
He’s since been involved in two gritty performances by the SUNS to start the AFL season.
Just like Collins had to do in the VFL, the club are out to prove themselves and despite external expectations, the defender said the playing group were galvanised and ready to start changing perceptions.
“A lot of people have written us off but we had a really good win and we’re all pretty happy with that and need to keep building on it,” Collins said.
“This week to put the four together is really what we’re aiming for.
“Even against St Kilda the week before you could see us we were really coming in the last five minutes.
“So I suppose that’s where the belief lies in that we are ready and while we are young, we’re fit and we’re fighting and we’re gonna be going for it.”
The major theme throughout the pre-season has been about preparing to compete for longer in games.
After two rounds, you just have to look at the SUNS’ percentage to see that preparation is showing results.
The club finished the 2018 season with a percentage of just under 60%, but have improved that to just over 100% so far in 2019.
Maintaining that percentage throughout the year will be a challenge, but Collins said it’s what the team are working towards.
“We just want to be consistent,” he said.
“We obviously got the win and everyone’s really confident.
“Coming from that it fills us with a lot of belief and we just need to keep doing that, putting four quarters together and playing the best we can.
“That’s what people want to see and that’s what we as a club and as a team want to strive for.”