SUNS AFLW Senior Coach David Lake has praised his team’s efforts against the Brisbane Lions in Game 3 of the QW Winter Series.
Speaking to SUNS Media post-match, Lake said he was thrilled with the team’s ability to challenge the established Lions and remain switched on throughout the match.
“We talk a lot about engage and re-engage to keep your mind in the game and I feel like we did that today,” Lake said.
“It means lots of things, it’s about whether it’s locating your opponent, pushing someone else over to help someone else, getting in as the third man up to spoil.
“It means so many things but I felt like in each rotation the girls maximised what they got out of themselves.”
Lake was particularly pleased with how the girls pushed themselves to their limits physically.
“They worked to their capacity then they came off and gave the next girl a go.
“I guess there was a connectiveness in the group that they wanted to work together and work for each other.
“I felt the way that they dealt with each other was really objective and rather than reacting emotionally to each other when they are pointing out things, they responded and were really connected.”
Game 3 wrapped up what was a two-month QW Winter Series program, and Lake said he’d seen massive gains from the playing group in that stretch of time.
“The first game we played, it seems so long ago, we didn’t even turn up for the first quarter really, we were working out what we had to do.
“Then in Mackay it sort of happened all really quickly in that first 10 minutes.
“Then today as soon as they kicked one we cracked into gear and played the rest of the game.
“I think the improvement in our ability to switch on and our performance was significant.”
While the focus of the QW Winter Series for the SUNS was to get vital experience into both players and off-field staff for 2020, it also served the purpose of giving untried players the chance to audition for a spot on the AFLW list.
With that in mind, 14 SUNS from the QW Winter Series will get another opportunity this weekend when they play in the Queensland Emerging Talent team to take on Western Australia in Perth.
The team will be coached by Lake who will use it as the final chance to see how some of those players cope performing at the highest level.
“I’m really happy with where we‘re at right now,” he said.
“I still think we’ll find a player there (in Perth) because every time we got to a game, something comes up.
“These girls are at the beginning of their learning not the end, so Perth is another opportunity for all of us to find someone.”
The match will be played at 2:00pm at Steel Blue Oval in Perth.