SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew believes Thursday night’s victory over Richmond can be the catalyst for a strong finish to the 2021 season.
The SUNS orchestrated one of the upsets of the season against the reigning premiers in what Dew described as one of the most consistent displays from his team this year.
“Obviously we’re really proud of the group and the way they played,” Dew said post-match.
“We came with a plan, we’ve been trying to work on that particular brand for a while and we’ve seen it at different parts this year but that was probably the most complete for this year certainly.
“To execute that and not under or over-react to the last three weeks which we know have been disappointing; I think we held our nerve.
“We’ve been really confident in our process and won some critical contests tonight so I think the overwhelming thing is we’re happy for the playing group.
“They’re really connected and for them to feel that is the best thing.”
Dew admitted the team had “lost a little bit of confidence” after a disappointing fortnight which included losses to North Melbourne and Port Adelaide.
But strong training standards hadn’t wavered which the SUNS Senior Coach considered important in helping the team recapture its best form.
One of the biggest improvement areas on Thursday night was the ball movement, which looked vastly different to the “stagnant” displays of the past fortnight according to Dew.
“We talked about making sure we get up and out and in particular move that ball with speed,” he explained.
“We didn’t get it totally right, there were a couple of times where we overdid it but certainly from a coaching group point of view we wanted to give them the confidence.
“We know at different periods we have to live with some pain to get through to the goodness and I think that’s probably just a reminder to all of us to stick to the plan, we’re really confident in it and it came out tonight.”
Dew said the victory over Richmond, the first time the club has ever defeated a reigning premier, would give the team belief ahead of some challenging matchups on the horizon.
“We’ve just got to bottle what we did tonight and the consistency around it, that is our challenge,” he said.
“We understand we’ve got some serious competition coming up and we welcome it because I think our guys really thrived on that and their application, it was important for the footy club.”
“For our supporters back home but also out here (at Marvel)… it’s important for them to get some joy.”
The SUNS VFL side will take on Box Hill on Saturday while the AFL team is slated to face GWS in Round 17.