Confidence, self-belief and routine are all part of the recipe that has Wil Powell playing some of the best footy in his young career.
The 21-year-old amassed a career-best 26 disposals in defence against the Dockers in Round 13, also earning plaudits of SUNS fans after being voted as the Austworld Player of the Round.
An element of belief in his ability and strengths, as well as some guidance from defensive coach Josh Drummond has Powell in fine form in the SUNS back six.
“The opportunity arose late last year [to play in defence], Drummo saw it in me, stuck fat with me and now it’s paying dividends,” Powell said.
“I love working with him. He’s instilled that much confidence in me and that backline group is an awesome group to be playing with.
“I think it’s just confidence and believing in myself. I’m my own worst critic. I go into games now with a mentality to not sweat on the small mistakes and move straight on.
“I’ve also got a bit of a routine during the week. I know if I’ve ticked everything off, I’m going to have a good game.”
Now in his fourth season at the SUNS, consistent game time is reaping rewards for Powell whose 2021 season averages are filled with career-highs.
While he admits he’s still ‘a bit of a kid’ at just 21-years-old, he’s taking it upon himself to help the development of the SUNS youngest brigade of players.
“Especially with the young boys down back, the likes of Aiden Fyfe, I feel like I have a bit more responsibility. I’m still a bit of a kid, but I’m still trying to grow the leadership within that young group of players,” Powell added.
“They’re the players who will build us to player better footy and we need them pushing for spots through their performances in the VFL.”
Powell is now eyeing Saturday’s return home to Metricon Stadium for the first time since Round 9 as the perfect time to right some wrongs from last weekend’s disappointing result in Perth.
“Hopefully we get a good crowd, be a bit more competitive and get a win,” Powell concluded