The Gold Coast SUNS AFLW team got its first ever taste of finals football on the weekend, going down to a well-drilled and polished Fremantle outfit in the west.
Despite the defeat, AFLW Senior Coach David Lake couldn’t help but look at the positives after an impressive debut season for the Gold Coast SUNS.
“Every good ride comes to an end somewhere and we’ve been on a hell of a ride and we’ve had a hell of a lot of fun,” Lake told the media post-match.
“Today it came to an end and we got a good look at what’s ahead of us and the learning we need to do.
“They’re a terrific footy side and the effort never stops with them.
“For our young girls and older girls to play inside a game like that, what a great experience to now lock it in your mind and say that’s the level that we need to get to.”
The SUNS defied the odds in 2020, finishing fourth in Conference A to earn a finals berth and become the only expansion club this season to do so.
Gold Coast’s season concluded with four road trips on the trot, and Lake said he was proud of his team’s efforts right up until the final siren at Fremantle Oval.
“You don’t get to choose where things happen, you get put in a situation and you give the best version of yourself and sometimes it measures up and sometimes it doesn’t,” he said.
“Today we got a lesson in how much more we’ve got to learn.
“I’m ok with that and I think the girls would be happy with that.
“I don’t think any of them turned up and didn’t have a go, you get beaten by a better football side so it just shows you what you’ve still got to learn.
“I still think right to the end we were having a crack and trying to create something and defend everything.”
With the remainder of the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s season being called off due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus management, Lake said the next steps would be to reassess before making decisions on list management.
“We’ve made some good friendships and got a really good culture and a good group of people and we need to continue to develop that,” Lake said.
“It’s judging how we get the most out of players going forward, what we need to add and what’s not going to take us anywhere.
“All those decisions are ahead and it’s a new experience again.”