The SUNS take on Footscray in Round 1 of the 2021 VFL competition on Saturday.

It’s the first time the SUNS have played in the VFL since 2010 and SUNS Media have previewed some storylines to follow for the match.

Test for young SUNS:

While the Bulldogs have been the form team of the AFL competition so far this year, the VFL side equally formidable and will be a great challenge for the SUNS on Saturday. The Dogs have almost full availability with limited injuries so the match will be full of AFL-standard players. VFL Head Coach Tate Kaesler has said effort and intensity is what the SUNS will be measured by and Round 1 presents a great opportunity for Gold Coast to test itself against a quality opposition. 

Players to watch:

There are several SUNS pushing for senior selection who will be wanting to put in a strong showing on Saturday. Midfielders Brayden Fiorini and Will Brodie are hungry to regain a spot in the AFL team, while others like Jez McLennan and Rory Atkins are itching to suit up for the SUNS at senior level for the first time.  After an impressive pre-season, SUNS Academy product Alex Davies will be an important player in the midfield and is in line for a big matchup against in-form Bulldog Lin Jong. The SUNS will have to find a way to combat key forward and number one draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan on the day, but it could be a great opportunity for first-year defenders Rhys Nicholls and Aiden Fyfe to show their wares. 

SUNS forwards set to be a handful:

A couple of the most in-form players in the SUNS VFL squad are dangerous small forwards Hewago Oea and Malcolm Rosas Jnr. These two will no doubt be causing headaches for Bulldogs defenders on Saturday and are coming into the season with goal-scoring form through the practice matches this year. Both are lively and have speed to burn, but also bring impressive forward pressure which helps generate turnovers in the forward half. Neither of the two have made their AFL debut yet but will be pushing for that opportunity this year with more consistent VFL performances.

VFL Round 1 Team:

Rory Atkins 
Will Brodie
Brayden Fiorini
Jack Hombsch
Alex Davies
Jordan Murdoch
Aiden Fyfe
Jeremy Sharp
Rhys Nicholls
Joel Jeffrey 
Malcolm Rosas Jnr
Patrick Murtagh
Jez McLennan
Hewago Paul Oea
Austin Harris
Bailey Reeves
James Smith
Shaye Walsh
Thomas Hofert
Bodhi Uwland
Jack Johnston
Will Bella
Jackson Griffiths (Emerg)
Finn Brown (Emerg)
Ryan Pickering (Emerg)