He was superb in just his fifth AFL game on Saturday and Jeremy Sharp says the SUNS know they can match it with the best in the competition.

The SUNS kept within touch of the premiership-contending Western Bulldogs throughout Saturday evening’s fixture at Metricon Stadium, ultimately falling 11 points short.

Speaking post-match, Sharp says the team know they have what it takes to challenge any side in the competition.

“Obviously we didn’t get the four points but as a group and a club we do feel like we’re on the right track,” Sharp said.

“In the last three weeks, we’ve matched it with the best teams. We went to Melbourne and got two wins and then come up against a very good Western Bulldogs team.

“There’s that understanding in the group that we are a seriously good team, and we can match it with the best, it’s just bringing that for four quarters.”

The finest performance of his young career earned Sharp the Austworld Player of the Round for Round 19, with nine score involvements from 30 disposals clearly catching the eyes of the SUNS fans.

“It’s just hard work paying off, [I’m] just keen to keep going and keep being consistent,” Sharp added.

A quirk of fixturing in COVID-19 times meant it was just the 19-year-old’s second match in front of his home crowd at Metricon Stadium and the first since his debut in Round 10 last season.

“They were pretty loud for the whole game and it’s always good to be back here in front of our fans.”