Rodney Eade has his guard up and says there will be no complacency from Gold Coast when they open their season against Essendon on Saturday.
Most pundits have written off the Bombers after the Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended 12 of its current players for the season.
But SUNS coach Eade says Essendon has done a "terrific job" recruiting its top-up players and expects them to be highly competitive.
"I think they'll surprise a lot of sides and we can't afford to be surprised at the weekend, which I'm very sure we won't be," Eade said.
"I don't think any team can afford to be complacent with any team.
"I think it's going to be a tough competition and you've got to get four points when you can and we expect a really hard game (on Saturday)."
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Gold Coast went into last season's round one match against Melbourne as favourites, only to fall flat to the Demons.
Eade said the team had briefly spoken about that performance, but he could not fault their attitude this time around.
He said in Mathew Stokes, James Kelly, Ryan Crowley, Matt Dea and Jonathan Simpkin, Essendon had topped-up with experience and class.
"We've seen all of their players," Eade said.
"The ones they've brought in from other clubs we knew a bit about anyway.
"We watched their NAB Cup form, so we've prepared as well as you would prepare against any team.
"I'm not, in my mind, doom and gloom for Essendon as what a lot of people are. I think they'll be OK.
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"I think at times if they get injuries it might hurt them, but I think they've got enough quality players there.
"I wouldn't think there'd be too many surprises, albeit, I think they'll be pretty physical early, I've got no doubt about that.
"We've got to match that and be aggressive at the ball as well."