Up-and-coming defender Wil Powell says a new baseline has been sent himself and his teammates following last Thursday night’s win over Richmond.

The SUNS head into Sunday afternoon’s Round 17 fixture against GWS in Ballarat full of confidence on the back of the 10-point victory against the defending premiers, which the SUNS players and staff have set as the new standard.

The SUNS have been striving for consistent performances throughout 2021, and after putting in a full siren-to-siren showing against the Tigers, it’s now time to rise to those levels again on Sunday.

“I think there’s been a big step-up from all the players,” Powell said.

“In the Richmond game, we all played a ‘trademark’ game in the club’s eyes and that’s all the coaches ask for. The group played that game, and we got the result we wanted to.

“That’s the standard. Going below that is a no-go – that’s where the line is now.”

The SUNS have spent the week in Victoria ahead of Sunday’s fixture at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium and with spirits and confidence high among the group, there’s plenty of belief heading into the crucial date with the GIANTS.

“(The message has been) Keep that belief and play the way we did against Richmond. If we do that, we should have enough belief to win the game,” Powell continued.

“You can feel that belief building within the group as we start playing good footy.”

Despite being in just his fourth season of AFL football, and still a few weeks shy of his 22nd birthday, Powell’s developing a reputation as a leader with the playing group and taking on board all he can from senior members of the playing group and coaching staff.

“Everyone has their own leadership styles around the club, and I feel like I’m building a lot more trust within the group as games go along,” Powell added.

“(Touk Miller) is amazing. Ever since I came to the club, he’s been a leader. You just want to follow his lead; he does everything he can for the team on and off the field and when he speaks, everyone listens.

“I have a good connection with Dewy (Senior Coach Stuart Dew). He’s a bit like a father figure at the club for me seeing as I’m still young.

“I look to him for a bit of support and guidance on what to do off-field. He’s always got his door open, always easy to talk to and everyone relates to him very well.”