Clear, energetic and exciting is how SUNS utility James Tsitas has described the SUNS’ first pre-season under new Senior Coach Damien Hardwick.

Speaking to media on the Gold Coast, Tsitas confirmed he’d be deployed in a high half-forward role similar to where he featured in four AFL games in 2023 and is simply enjoying the ‘day-by-day’ learnings throughout pre-season.

“It feels like it wasn’t long ago that we were playing,” Tsitas said.

“We’re learning so much and this pre-season is so stimulating that it doesn’t feel like I’m rushing towards Round 1.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day.”

The 29-year-old says it hasn’t taken long for Hardwick to leave his mark on the group with a new brand of football beginning to sink in with the Opening Round date against Richmond at Heritage Bank Stadium just over four weeks away.

“We’re definitely getting a hold of it… there’s a lot but he’s a great teacher,” Tsitas continued.

“It’s new, it’s something different to anything I and a lot of the boys have done before. I’ve played plenty of years of state league footy so you think I’d have seen most things, but it’s new and it’s exciting.

“Dimma really rewards people who play their role. He’s big on how the ground’s set up and hopefully I can help him do that.” 

Tsitas’ primary goal is to extend on his five-game career come Opening Round, however he’s not placing any ceilings on what he wants to achieve in 2024.

“I am taking it day-by-day. I don’t know where my limit is, I just know that’s (Opening Round) the first tick off… after that, it’s just go from there… I don’t want to set limits,” he added.

“Dimma is really clear on the roles he wants everyone to play so everyone in this building show know what they need to do to play. 

“He’s really clear on ‘this role requires x, y and z’.

“Everyone should think they’re a chance of playing.”

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