The GC SUNS are relishing the opportunity to test themselves against the 2022 grand finalists in Saturday’s AFLW practice match in Springfield.
The SUNS meet the Brisbane Lions at Brighton Homes Arena on Saturday morning in its final hitout before facing Carlton in Round 1 in a fortnight.
Speaking on Thursday, Head Coach Cameron Joyce says the chance to face one of the AFLW’s top sides is an ‘opportunity we want.’
“They’ve been strong since the inception of AFLW, but it’s a great opportunity for us,” Joyce said.
“I thought out footy last week (against Sydney Swans) was reasonably strong, it’s now about how can we execute a little better going into a game against a good outfit.
“We certainly lot a lot from that game (against Sydney). This week is an opportunity to get some synergy within some groups which is exciting… we’re really looking forward to challenging and competing against a good Brisbane team.”
Saturday’s clash is the SUNS’ second of pre-season following last weekend’s match simulation against the Sydney Swans at Heritage Bank Stadium.
Joyce said his side will take plenty from that game, focusing on limiting defensive lapses whilst also being encouraged by a strong finish in which the SUNS kicked five of the last six goals.
That game also provided an opportunity for the SUNS to see a host of its new recruits in action with competition for Round 1 spots heating up.
“They (the new players) have all bought a real freshness, they’re keen to impress and they’ve also bought that little extra professionalism with them. All of them have a sense of experience, even the couple who haven’t played AFLW before,” Joyce added.
“We’re excited about what that group can bring, but we also have existing players who have played some really great footy in recent seasons and we need to make sure we can complement both those groups.
“We believe our squad is certainly better, but there’s competition for spots too. That’s exciting to work out what is our best 21 going into Round 1.”
The SUNS have named a 24-player team for the clash which will be live-streamed via the SUNS website from 10.30am.