SUNS recruit Rory Atkins is eager to reunite with some familiar faces on the Gold Coast when pre-season training begins in early December.

Atkins, who signed with the SUNS from Adelaide as a restricted free agent during this year’s Trade Period, will join former Crows teammate and coaches Hugh Greenwood, Josh Francou and Tate Kaesler at the club.

The 26-year-old also grew up with some of his new teammates and says he’s been made to feel welcome since officially joining the club last Friday.

“Josh and Tate were my coaches previously at the Crows and Hugh – I’m really close with him.

“I went to school with Pete (Wright) and Touk (Miller) and grew up with Brando (Ellis) as well.

“I knew a fair few of the guys and I’m looking forward to getting involved.

“I’ve hung out with the them last couple of weeks… they’ve been very accommodating and inviting and I’ve fit in straight away which has been great.” 

Atkins has played 101 games for the Crows in his eight seasons in the AFL.

He said the opportunity to be a part of the club’s journey was a key factor in his decision to join the SUNS. 

“I’m looking forward to playing with a younger group and a group that’s determined,” Atkins said. 

“There’s promising signs and it’s a good young group that’s committed to the club for a long period of time.

“They’re only going to improve so I’m looking forward to being a part of that.” 

Atkins describes himself as a similar player to childhood friend Brandon Ellis and is confident he can contribute to the club in 2021.

“Without pumping up my tyres too much I feel like I run hard and have good skills and just work my butt off for the team running up and down,” he said.

“I can’t wait to get into it.”