SUNS AFLW coach David Lake said the uncertainty of the AFLW fixture and flying in and out of matches on the same day could help galvanise the team this year, as they prepare to fly to Melbourne to play Collingwood on Saturday.
Lake was optimistic about the clash with the Pies, who were coming off a solid win against Carlton in Round 1, saying Gold Coast’s pressure was a strong part of their game.
“I think we’re a massive chance. If we can stay on task, we’re right in the game we know that. I think Melbourne are a top three side and we’re able to stay in the game. We should feel good going into Collingwood,” Lake said.
“Overall we’ve played a pretty good brand of footy and we’ve progressed and our skill levels progressed, (the 50m penalties are) the things we can’t manage and they break your heart a little bit, I felt we were around the money for most of the game. We need to discuss those things, take the lesson and keep moving forward.”
His experience with the SUNS reserves teams showed him how days on the road could bring the team together.
“It is what it is, I just think about when we used to play NEAFL footy in the men’s space and we used to jump on a plane in the morning, fly to Alice, we’d play and we’d come home and (I think about) the camaraderie that we’d build within the group,” he said.
“You can study the science of it as much as you like but we’re all living this and each person will have a different thing each week happen to them, we’ve just got to get our stride, enjoy getting out of bed early, have breakfast together, enjoy getting on a plane, share the ride and win the game of footy, there’s nothing more you can do than that.”
The Round 2 team will be announced on Friday as the SUNS prepare to take on Collingwood in the first AFLW Pride Round.
First bounce is at Victoria Park at 3:10pm AEDT, Saturday February 6.