Sticking to the processes that have produced a strong start to the 2023 season is the key focus for the GC SUNS VFL squad ahead of Saturday’s clash against local rivals Southport at Fankhauser Reserve.

The SUNS head into the contest perched at the top of the VFL ladder with a perfect six wins from six games, but Head Coach Josh Drummond is expecting the Sharks to throw everything at his side in an important match for both teams.

The two sides will play for the Mackenzie Cup, named in honour of Alan ‘Doc’ Mackenzie with the match to be played a year to the day from his passing.

“It’s a big occasion for both clubs to celebrate Doc on the anniversary of his passing,” Drummond said.

“We know his significance to Southport, he was for nearly 50 years which is an unbelievable service to a footy club.

“He will forever be etched in the history of the SUNS, playing a big part in our bid team and both clubs are looking forward to putting on a performance on Saturday.

The SUNS have managed to earn wins from a number of varying positions this year, including dominant wins at home coupled with wins like the five-goal comeback against Sandringham.

It’s managing to work its way through those scenarios that has impressed Drummond.

“It’s about the process for us. We’ve been challenged in different ways each week. For us, it’s all about the process and keeping the boys focused on what they can control,” Drummond added.

“We know how strong Southport are and we won’t shift our gaze from what’s right in front of us.”

Continuity in selection and a healthy list of available players has been a key for the SUNS so far this season with Drummond also pleased with the SUNS Academy young guns who have earned opportunities at VFL level.

His side to face the Sharks, which was named earlier on Friday, will feature seven SUNS Academy prospects.

“Really pleasingly for us, the boys who have stepped up from our SUNS Academy program have come in and embraced their role. It’s a great opportunity for a couple more to do the same this weekend,” Drummond continued.

The two sides met twice last year, each win their respective home matches.

First bounce at Fankhauser Reserve is 12.05pm on Saturday.