SUNS GM – Football Operations Jon Haines believes the club’s emphatic back-to-back wins at Metricon Stadium have come off the back of complete team performances.
After beating West Coast in Round 2, the SUNS claimed their first ever win against the Crows in Round 3 with even contributors across the park in both weeks.
Speaking to the media, Haines said it all started in the pre-season, and the break between games allowed the group to reset and come back with a hunger to win.
“We’ve got great confidence in the capability of the group so we’re not surprised,” Haines said.
“We feel like the COVID period was actually a positive for us in a lot of ways in terms of players being able to work on their individual game and individual physical development.
“We’re starting to see that transfer into games so that’s pleasing but again it’s two games of footy so we know we’ve got a long way to go, but we’re certainly starting to see some signs.”
One of the noticeable traits from Gold Coast’s wins has been watching the high-octane game-plan unfold.
Haines said the club wanted to play an exciting brand of football which all started with a whole-team defence.
“We’re starting to see the style of game that we’d like to play,” he said.
“We want to be a forward-half team and our contested ball ratio against both West Coast and the Crows was really strong.
“It allows our back six to set up really well and they’re looking really organised in a good defensive system down there at the moment.
“The style of play that we’ve been trying to embed over the pre-season is starting to show some signs which is really encouraging.”
Along the wins, the SUNS have also had back-to-back NAB AFL Rising Star nominations in the last fortnight.
It started with Matt Rowell claiming the Week 2 nomination, followed by SUNS Academy graduate Connor Budarick on Monday night.
Haines said it was a fantastic result for the Gold Coast product and reinforced the value of the Academy.
“The Academy is a really important part of our footy club,” he said.
“Strategically it’s one of our really strong pillars.
“To see Budders come through the local pathway and through our Academy and then perform the way he has the first three rounds of the year, it’s just terrific for local footy, terrific for the club and terrific for Connor and his family.”