SUNS Chairman Tony Cochrane knew there was something brewing this season, before the team even stepped onto Metricon Stadium for the first time.
The club had undergone a significant reset under Senior Coach Stuart Dew, and after two years of building the culture and the game-plan, those results are starting to show on the field.
Speaking on SEN’s Whateley program, Cochrane said the comradery amongst the group is the best it’s ever been and has been a real driver in the team wanting to bring success to the football club.
“If I go right back to the end of last year I thought and detected that we were a very tight-knit and happy group when all the players came back to start the pre-season work in November,” Cochrane said.
“It’s hard to describe this because you need to see it to really understand it, but they are a real band of brothers is my perfect description for it.
“They are locked tight with each other, they’re there for each other and they’re together for each other.
“It’s an exciting place to be, watching these young guys just daring to dream.”
Each season the SUNS have added layers to the team’s DNA which was stripped bare when Dew first took the reins as Senior Coach.
The latest addition has been the quick ball movement through run and carry, along with more aggressive decision making to take the game on.
Cochrane says the resultant football on display is something both SUNS and general football fans can enjoy.
“They’re playing a really exciting brand of footy, they’re compelling to watch,” he said.
“It’s exciting, they’re scoring, they’re moving the ball so quickly - there’s no lockdown defence game being played at the SUNS.
“Stuey has done a magnificent job of taking this group on what has been a two-year ride now.
“I’m so delighted for him because he’s now getting some true reward for effort.”
While the SUNS may have turned a corner with two dominant wins at Metricon Stadium, Cochrane said there was still plenty of work to be done with one of the youngest lists in the AFL.
“We’ve got our challenges, we’ll have our ups and downs because we’ve got the youngest group that played last weekend,” Cochrane said.
“It’s not all going to be clear sailing but you just have to admire the way that, particularly the young brigade, but all of them have gone about playing the game.
“People are genuinely talking about how these guys should get a Friday night game and I never thought that would be in the conversation this year.”
Round 6 of the AFL fixture was announced last night, with the SUNS to take on Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday July 11.