The biggest challenge facing the Gold Coast SUNS ahead of the final nine rounds of the season is finding consistency, according to CEO Mark Evans.
The SUNS were well below their best in Round 14 against Port Adelaide, having what Evans described as a “frustrating” loss, with the Power holding control of the match for its majority.
Speaking on 3AW, the SUNS Chief Executive said the club needed to iron out the stark discrepancies between its good and bad performances to be a team which could be relied on to perform each week.
“It was a very frustrating place to be, sitting in the stands watching that, particularly for us to try and work out across the course of this year, the inconsistencies that we’ve had as a club,” Evans said.
“We’ve had some games where we’ve played quite dominantly and then to work out why that disappears in some other games is very, very frustrating.”
“(Saturday’s) performance, the manner of the game, we can’t like or accept.
“It’s not about whether we won or lost against Port Adelaide but the manner of those first three quarters in particular was hard to watch.”
When asked what success looked like for the club this year, Evans said it was about executing a sustained consistent standard of football for the rest of the season.
“It’s definitely progression and that should result in wins and people should see the development of individuals and team play.
“We need to try and get ourselves out of that weekly reaction and assessment and try to show people the brand or the trademark of play that we want as a club and the trademark that individuals hold themselves up to.
“That was the strong focus of our fairly deep mid-season review.”
Evans also pointed to the strong participation levels in community football as an indicator of success off the field.
Auskick programs have enjoyed significant growth in 2021, up 30% across Queensland and 33% on the Gold Coast, while junior football has grown 20%.
With Queensland presenting as the AFL’s largest and most productive growth market, Evans said it was important the SUNS capitalise and attract new fans with positive football.
“What we have to do as a club is continue to develop a level of consistency that people understand where we are at on the journey,” Evans said.
“To me that’s the most frustrating thing that I have as CEO is I can see the potential and we just can’t quite bring it with consistency.
“If you flop from one week and then go brilliant the next and then flop again, it’s pretty hard to tell any story of progress.
“Internally we’ll put the blowtorch on as many things as we have to get better, but externally we need for people to see a little bit of the nourishment along the way.”
The SUNS travel to Blundstone Arena in Tasmania for Round 15 to take on North Melbourne at 1:45pm on Saturday.