The NEAFL season kicks off this weekend and the Gold Coast SUNS will travel down to the nation’s capital for Round 1 against the Canberra Demons.

NEAFL coach Nick Malceski told SUNS Media the club’s reserve players were excited to get out for their first competitive match after playing a pair of practice matches.

“We’ve been implementing what we want,” Malceski said.

“Obviously Canberra had a really good year last year so we know they’re going to be a big threat come NEAFL this year and we’ve just got to make sure we bring our A-game.”

Canberra played in the NEAFL finals series for the first time in 2018 and will be gunning to prove themselves as premiership contenders this time around.

“They’re a really good offensive team I reckon,” Malceski said.

“They really move the ball quick so we’ve got to make sure our defence is on and they’re a good contested team as well so it will be a good battle in there.” 

Gold Coast midfielder Jacob Dawson is one who can make a difference for the SUNS.

The inside midfielder will be going head-to-head with the Demons’ onballers and will also captain the side for the first match of the year.

“It’s a bit of a privilege and (I’m) just looking forward to playing again,” Dawson told SUNS Media.

“I enjoy that kind of thing so it will be good to get started.”

Dawson said he’s been happy with how the team is tracking heading into Round 1 after some good signs in the practice matches against Palm Beach and the Brisbane Lions.

“In the Brisbane game we were really competitive and won the first half fairly convincingly,” he said.

“In the second half we dropped off a bit and ran out of legs with injuries but we’ve been pretty good and the young boys are really impressing.

“We’ve trained really well and we’re looking forward to the challenge (this week).

“You never really know in Round 1 how Canberra will be looking but hopefully we can come out with the four points.”