What you need to know

  • Three quarters of football in 30-degree heat & 85% humidity
  • 40+ players from the squad took part in the match simulation
  • Six of the club’s eight new recruits lined up in club colours for the first time
  • 13 different goalkickers
  • A number of names rotated through the midfield alongside the usual culprits. Holman, Macpherson, Rankine, Flanders all found themselves alongside the likes of Miller, Brodie, Greenwood and Anderson at different stages
  • No holding back, plenty of big contests but everyone came through unscathed.
  • Matt Rowell continued his preparations, participating strongly during his time on the ground

Coaches Corner

Following the club’s match simulation on Saturday morning, SUNS Media caught up with Assistant Coach Josh Drummond to garner his thoughts on the session.

Josh, thanks for joining us, how’d you see this morning’s session?

“It was a great hit out. Firstly, you just want the list to stay healthy and guys get through and get a good solid hit out and some match practice, which they did,” Drummond said.

“There was some nice challenging conditions (heat) out there which was good as well, the boys played three quarters, a nice young group out there getting their first chance playing together which was good to see.”

More specifically on the defenders, who you work closely with, what’s been the focus this pre-season and going into the game today?

“We feel as though the last couple of years we’ve been able to build some synergy as a group, obviously a lot of youth down there and giving them time playing together is key.”

“Training is one thing, but the ability to play together against an opposition is always really beneficial.

“There is always a different elements of the game we want to continue to improve on.”

“(There were) portions of the year last year where we played some really strong footy as a defensive group but we’ve got to do it better and for even longer.”

“The challenge for us is and what we’ve been striving for and working towards is building that synergy as a defensive unit, knowing when to be really strong one on one and when to help out and support.”

“I love the group we get to work with, they’re a really coachable group that’s keen to learn and get better and start having some success, so look forward to seeing that in action in the next few weeks.”

You mentioned you love the group you work with and there really is a group now all putting their hands up to play, it creates a healthy competition for spots?

“Ultimately that’s what the really good clubs have, you need that pushing the guys out there and the younger boys or guys who aren’t getting a game striving really strongly to push those guys.”

“Oleg Markov from Richmond (has come in), he’s bought a lot of energy and been a pleasure to coach so far.

“Sean Lemmens has been training down back and played there today so we feel like we’re building a really strong group and that’s important because we’re going to need more than 6 or 7 throughout the year.”

“It’s good, us coaches are going to have some decisions to make.”

Recruit Watch

Elijah Hollands
Continues his progressions back to full fitness after an ACL injury suffered last year. Was running messages out to the players on the field from the coaches throughout the game.

Alex Davies
Had his first competitive hit out since officially joining the SUNS list, played most of his time in the midfield.

Joel Jeffrey
The exciting product from Darwin, has spent most of his time since arriving at the club training with the forwards and lined up there for his first hit out. Kicked a goal and did some nice things across the half forward line.

Rhys Nicholls
Started the game strongly with a couple of early touches across half back, played out the three quarters of football.

Aiden Fyfe
Spent his day in the back six, showing us there will be plenty to look forward to in the first quarter, going back with the flight in front of a pack of forwards to spoil 

Rory Atkins
Continues preparations for his first season at the club after off-season shoulder surgery. Trained before the main group and then provided great insight to the younger players during the breaks.

Oleg Markov
Slotted in nicely across half back, on many occasions using his speed rebounding from the back half to set up forward movement.

Jacob Townsend
Provided a key presence in the forward line, worked tirelessly throughout the session and even found himself in the midfield group at times.