He’s played in just about every position on the ground during his time at the Gold Coast SUNS, but in 2015, fans can expect to see Danny Stanley spend a vast amount of time roaming across half-forward.
The 26-year-old (he turns 27 on February 18) is one of the elder statesmen at Metricon Stadium, having been at the club since the VFL season in 2010.
With 75 games at the SUNS to his name (a further five with Collingwood), Stanley is fourth on the most games list at the club behind Jarrod Harbrow on 78.
Stanley’s ability to play a variety of roles and positions is considered one of his greatest strengths; it has allowed him to carve out a successful career on the Gold Coast after being starved of opportunity at Collingwood during the early stages of his career.
“I’ve been playing mainly in the forward drills, playing in that high half-forward position along with Brandon Matera so hopefully this will help in that role, being able to run up and back and cover more ground – so that’s something to look forward to this year,” Stanley told SUNS TV.
In a side brimming with marquee names of the present and future, Stanley’s story attracts little fanfare, but is one of hard work and determination to get the most out of himself.
The Geelong Falcons product attributed his versatility to his junior career where he played all over the ground from an early age.
Senior coach Rodney Eade’s desire for modern day utilities should work in Stanley’s favour this season, with Stanley revealing the new coach’s appetite for attack has brought a real spark to the playing group.
“I think just as a junior I played pretty much all positions, I sort of carried that onto my senior career,” Stanley said.
“Having spoken to Rocket, he likes the idea of flexible players in is team, so the ability to be able to play multiple positions is obviously going to help me get a game.
“I think Rocket’s impact on the group has been really positive. His obviously coached attacking teams in the past and I think he’s tried to bring that up to us, as well as a strong defensive side to the game.
“So he’s encouraging blokes to take the game on and play with their natural flair, which has been great.”
Competition for spots has never been fiercer at the SUNS. Games will be hotly contested with the level of depth at Metricon Stadium never previously seen.
Stanley revealed the intensity on the training track had increased another notch this summer, which should be beneficial for a side in pursuit of a maiden finals appearance.
“I think in training it’s gone up another level as it will every year as we become more competitive as a team,” Stanley said.
“Spots are going to become harder to get so the intensity will go up and we’re expecting it to go up another level when we have intra club match hitouts. That will be better for us because we will be having the best players on the park.”