Autopsy Post Gold Coast Suns Season 2020 Review

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kreglze

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 28, 2011
15,951
13,591
Melbourne
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Just a place for us to discuss what we loved, what we hated about the 2020 season. Reflect on the highs and the lows.

I'll elaborate later, but I would give the season a 6/10. The really poor finish can't extinguish all the good of the season, but there is a lot to work on this end of season.
 

The Victorian

Club Legend
Oct 23, 2018
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A success
things we need to get better at: kicking at goal and our inside 50 deliveries

adding Rowell and a few new players in would be awesome additions. I do thing Harbrow is done so adding some experienced backline players will be good to help bolster our backline

We’ve been pretty lucky overall in 2020 with our injury list, hopefully it continues in 2021 :)
 

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Jen2310

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 21, 2018
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A good season.

When you win 3 games last year with a poor percentage; to win 5 and a half (could have been 6, but could have been 8 given the dogs and saints game was a few points)

The ball movement. The way they were playing/scoring is a sustainablle brand of footy, unlike last year when they were just getting over the line by a couple points. It was never fully convincing that could be sustained. But last 2 years was about defence, this year was more about attack and developing a good brand that can win games.

Improvement hasn't just come from the team as a whole -- no real big injuries minus Rowell. So able to play majority of the best 22 most weeks. That helps with chemistry.

But improvement has also come from individual players. Luko, Anderson, Ballard, Budarick (great in his first year), King has been good (another pre-season will be good to build up).
Ainsworth has stepped up. Greenwood and Ellis have been massive to this team.
Miller has had a great season as well.

There has been lots of great strides, and improvements across the board. Another pre-season and they'll take the next important step.


Bring it on!
 

exile

Premium Platinum
Jul 21, 2010
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what's dew's win % at now compared to the previous two coaches? first half of the year was great, almost everything a suns fan has stuck around to be apart of for 10 years.

the second half was putrid and tbh almost undoes all that good work. covid will see some big list changes, hope we're smart with how we go about it.
 

The Victorian

Club Legend
Oct 23, 2018
2,829
2,484
Victoria
AFL Club
Gold Coast
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what's dew's win % at now compared to the previous two coaches? first half of the year was great, almost everything a suns fan has stuck around to be apart of for 10 years.

the second half was putrid and tbh almost undoes all that good work. covid will see some big list changes, hope we're smart with how we go about it.
19.7% Dew over three years*Covid final year only 17 games
27.3% Guy over four years
26.2% Rocket over three years
 

exile

Premium Platinum
Jul 21, 2010
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19.7% Dew over three years*Covid final year only 17 games
27.3% Guy over four years
26.2% Rocket over three years
dew better hope for a better run next year. had almost zero injuries to deal with this year too which probably helped. you could always look at each season by instance and break it down, arguing that "oh but we were rebuilding that year".

we've been perpetually rebuilding, i'm sick of it hey. record membership this year, better see some leaps and bounds improvement next season or we'll probably lose a whole heap of those new members (i realise a lot of them were probably local interstate members wanting to get cheap games?)
 

The Victorian

Club Legend
Oct 23, 2018
2,829
2,484
Victoria
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Gold Coast
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Storm, Western Utd
dew better hope for a better run next year. had almost zero injuries to deal with this year too which probably helped. you could always look at each season by instance and break it down, arguing that "oh but we were rebuilding that year".

we've been perpetually rebuilding, i'm sick of it hey. record membership this year, better see some leaps and bounds improvement next season or we'll probably lose a whole heap of those new members (i realise a lot of them were probably local interstate members wanting to get cheap games?)
I think there will now be an expectation at the club, with supporters, and the wider football community that 2021 we need to challenge and push for a finals spot. 2020 was a year of hope being competitive etc but 2021 we need to be able to win those matches where we got close but fell away. Keep in mind there will be longer quarters so we need to work hard in the pre season with our endurance, strength and development. As I've said on here multiple times, I think having a team in the VFL next year is only going to further help the development of our players making sure who ever is playing AFL level is good to go and we won't expose anyone on the big stage.
 

Brenton87

All Australian
Aug 7, 2015
751
809
AFL Club
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While it was still an improvement from last year (hard not to be) it's hard not to be disappointed when we seen the potential at the start of year, Rowell going down was the break in momentum just like Ablett in 2014 but getting games into the young talent was a move I hope pays off in the long run to build team cohesion. We need to be pushing up higher on the ladder and knocking on the door of finals next year to be classified as a success, we have waited long enough.
 
Last edited:

SnusCG

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Aug 30, 2016
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My only, but big issue with the season, was guys when they weren't performing, weren't being dropped.

It took way too long for us to drop Hanley from the team despite being poor from round.
Day managed to last out the entire season despite going goalless in 10/17 games.
Swallow basically played just the 1 good game for the year, and it was round 18.
Macpherson continually kept getting put in the team despite not performing.
Holman similarly had arguably 1 good game for the year, and yet he played in 12/17 games.

I wasn't demanding for wholesale change week in week out during the season, but Brodie would have been an upgrade on Swallows midfield output for the season, and he continually demanded selection in the 2's. He'll likely depart this off season now, because of lack of playing time.

Wright was emergency virtually every week, which meant he barely played any reserves football either. They kept him in this awful loop of playing at no level for majority of the year, without rewarding him with a game and letting Day continually underperform.

Fiorini also deserved to be playing, and not as a half back. There seems to be this weird rule with him that, because he can only play midfield, we have to turn him in to a multi-positional player. We at no point tried to force that with Touk, Swallow, or Greenwood. Fiorini is an accumulator, let him play like one.

and there were plenty of other instances of players deserving of a shot in the ones and not being given an opportunity. it got frustrating.
 

Mr Bods

Norm Smith Medallist
May 21, 2017
6,652
8,644
Southern GC-the beautiful city
AFL Club
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My pre season expectation was to get a few more wins but still get the spoon on percentage.
To have not got the spoon and finish 14th is a magnificent success.
The Suns men’s and women’s teams and the Titans have buried the Skase Curse forever.
This is a great year.
Mission Accomplished.
Gold Coast-Tweed no longer the jokes of Australian sport.
 

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Camsta

All Australian
May 12, 2018
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got the youngest team in the comp.
most compressed season ever in history..
And we run them into the ground without sharing the load..

and last 5 games we looked slow.

odd.
But no point playing old hands when the kids won’t get proper game time in the 2’s.

If the young ones are our future 22 then play them in every game til they get synergy to win.
 

RowellAnderson12

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Nov 4, 2019
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This rotation thing is overrated. We finally have an injury free year and blokes like Bowes, Ainsworth, Powell, Ballard all got a clean run and clearly showed they can play AFL.

Andrew McGrath who was drafted in 2017 the same as Bowes and Ainsworth has played 78 compared to our boys 58,59. Few picks inbetween.... Will Brodie has only played 20.

If they are AFL standard they gotta be playing than sitting on the sidelines. That even goes for Fiorini/Wright/Brodie who should of had more opportunity. But then again we had a starting mid of Greenwood,Miller,Swallow compared to previous years when we had literally 2016 Round 21 v Essendon, it was our 9th best midfielder playing. I can still remember the day.Our midfield Hallahan, Martin, Miller, Schoenfeld, Hall, Shaw, Garlett, Davis, Rosa and Brooksby was our ruck.

Yeah we probably died off a cliff later on but could be much worse could of had Jeremy Cameron kick 9 on Caleb graham to win the coleman
 

Camsta

All Australian
May 12, 2018
733
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This rotation thing is overrated. We finally have an injury free year and blokes like Bowes, Ainsworth, Powell, Ballard all got a clean run and clearly showed they can play AFL.

Andrew McGrath who was drafted in 2017 the same as Bowes and Ainsworth has played 78 compared to our boys 58,59. Few picks inbetween.... Will Brodie has only played 20.

If they are AFL standard they gotta be playing than sitting on the sidelines. That even goes for Fiorini/Wright/Brodie who should of had more opportunity. But then again we had a starting mid of Greenwood,Miller,Swallow compared to previous years when we had literally 2016 Round 21 v Essendon, it was our 9th best midfielder playing. I can still remember the day.Our midfield Hallahan, Martin, Miller, Schoenfeld, Hall, Shaw, Garlett, Davis, Rosa and Brooksby was our ruck.

Yeah we probably died off a cliff later on but could be much worse could of had Jeremy Cameron kick 9 on Caleb graham to win the coleman
Spot on

it’s a professional sporting Organisation not under 9’s - depth players are exactly that, and they know they won’t get a run without an injury.

All this talk of Brodie and Wright unlucky to get a run... - they’ve had multiple seasons at the club to stamp their authority on their positions and haven’t done - changes for changes sake is just shuffling the chairs on the titanic

the 22 that played most of the year are my best 22 - get the games into them with speed!
 

Suns of Anarchy

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Aug 7, 2013
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Kudos to the conditioning team for us having our first year without numerous soft tissue injuries.
Improvement in our 2nd and 3rd players was evident. King, Luko, Rankine tailed off a bit but is expected.
Powell improved out of sight.

When we were on we moved the ball a lot quicker than previous years.

It’s easy to make excuses but the Carlton game (3rd in 9 days) and Hawthorn (3rd in 10 days) was too much for a young list. But I’m happy that we didn’t gift games to others for that reason. The kids have to learn to deal with playing under physical duress.
Very happy with the year in all. Desperately need more quality mids to help out 2 future A graders like Rowell & Anderson. Another key tall down back & a player like Gunston up forward to help out. Day & 2MP aren’t the answer.
I’ll be disappointed if we don’t make finals next year. We’ll have some quality joining us.
 

Supersuns

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Mar 14, 2014
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Wil Powell is my biggest tick for this year. Have we ever had a speculative draft pick actually perform before? Massive ups to the development team and the coaching staff for Powellys improvement over the last 24 months. Kids going to be an absolute star and most of us didn't even see him close to starting 22 this year
 
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Jirik13

Premiership Player
Jan 22, 2018
3,392
4,259
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Summary
Season 2020 was a special one due to covid. Different rules, hub environment, limited training, crazy schedule. Big thanks to AFL, players and QLD for making it happen. Wondering what will be the 2021 like. No guarantee the vaccine will be available and work.

A bit difficult to assess the season due to the circumstances but here is my take.

Overall, considering that our starting line was the wooden spoon and 18 losses in a row I review the season as a success. The rebuild, the youngest list, the youngest line-up for the most rounds, the opposition usually 2 years plus older - that was the reality.

We started great riding on Rowell’s and Rankine's waves. Middle through the season people talked about the possibility of playing finals. We dropped off in some games in the second half.

Positives
It got to be the improvement and development of the majority of our young players. We usually played 6-8 players 20 years old or younger, 9-11 players 22 years old or younger which is quite unprecedented. No doubt this will serve us well in coming seasons. Yes, we could rotate/sprinkle the team with more experienced players but would it accelerate our development? Obviously, these young players are our future core. Looking at Carlton, who won only 7 games while playing one of the oldest teams and not really progressed young players, I am content with our approach.

For the first time like ever we had a minimal injury list. It almost seems like players finally know how to approach the contest. The performance team did a fabulous job. I did not see many teams if any running over us despite the team age and yes, players were making more mistakes under fatigue. No soft injuries during the games is truly amazing.


Game style. To see the progress in the offensive part was very pleasing. We quite often took the game on and cut through the middle.

Clearance work improved significantly. Suns finished top 4 for clearances differential. It dispels the myth about our midfield. The issue is not to get hands on the ball but what we do with the ball, spread. We turned it over and were not cleaned with the ball especially under pressure. Also when the opposition got the ball they moved it way too easily. SUNS are bottom 3 for I50 allowed.


Percentage. It illustrates we were much more competitive and consistent this year. Yes, we had several stinkers but overall a big improvement on the previous season.


Rankine survived! I can't stressed that enough. There was some serious doubt about his body before his debut due to his injuries. Powell’s recovery makes me very happy too.


Negatives
Despite a small injury list, the injuries to Rowell and Thompson were very disappointing, Thompson’s one is possibly career ending. You could label them as key players.

Performance of some senior players, Hanley and Harbrow specifically. I was hoping they would provide maturity around the young players but they struggled. Witts also had some ordinary games, Swallow as well.

We were not able to close out the games. Rankine had 3 games on his boot.

Usually our execution under pressure, turnovers, mistakes under fatigue, lack of spread, inexperience killed us.

Some players late in the season showed wear and tear - Collins, Ballard, Luko, Bowes, King, Greenwood. On a positive side, the exposure should serve them well in the future.

We did have some down games. To be honest most teams had them and considering our team age profile and schedule it was expected.
Two of those games came after long breaks (GWS, Lions) which would indicate that the team struggled to prepare physically and mentally after long lay off. Port game round 1, you could attribute that to early covid crazy time.
In Carlton game, short breaks caught up with us and we were cooked from the start.
The worst game was against Hawks, after the team showed a great intensity against Magpies on 5 days break and one man down. Against the Hawks the team struggled badly. Shorter break, waking up at 4 am, spending 3 hours on the plane could have something to do with it too. We were as flat as ever early in this game.

Players assessment
It appears we got some future gun prospects on our list - Rowell, Anderson, Luko, King, Rankine.

This year, it was personally very satisfying to witness performances of Rowell, Anderson, Luko, King, Powell, Ballard, Ainsworth, Rankine, Bowes, Budarick, Collins, Greenwood, Miller, Weller, B Ellis.

It was disappointing for me not to see Brodie in the best 22. Fiorini’s performances were also not what I expected. Both are at the end of a queue for an inside midfielder position. And it's a long queue now after the year Rowell and Anderson had.

New additions B Ellis and Greenwood exceeded my expectations.

Harbrow - struggled, development/welfare role while on a list?
Collins - great, first full season for him, dropped off late
Ballard - great, shoulder surgery did not slow him down, dropped off late. Extra 3-4 kg will serve him well
Budarick - great debut, improve kicking accuracy
Luko - future star, his kicks are something else, dropped off late
Hanley - struggled, enjoy retirement
Witts - off-season broken foot hurt his tank, several ordinary games early
Swallow - similar to Witts had some ordinary games, relax you don’t have to blast the ball every time, you got some talent around you now
Miller - super season, B&F candidate, knee issue slowed him down a bit in the middle of the season, absolute warrior, nice deliveries, tackling like possessed in some games, he is not slow!
Greenwood - better than expected, dropped off late, another full preseason will be be good for him
B Ellis - does he actually play better now compared to when he was with Tigers?
King - with more kg will be a star, some memorable moments like late goal against Essendon and 60 meters dash through the midfield
Sexton - mostly good, need to improve in one-on-one contest
Bowes - the king of sidestep, dropped off late
Flanders - showed enough
Weller - very good season, just don’t disappear for parts of the game when the team struggles
Rowell - possibly a new footy God
Anderson - does he have actually a higher ceiling than Rowell?
Rankine - future star, back off critics
Ainsworth - benefited from his first full season, I like what I see
Day - mostly average, brings more pressure, contest than Wright
Corbett - happy with his effort, yeah I know he needs to improve his goal kicking
Macpherson - a bit of a setback season, could struggle to get a game next year
Holman - good games early, ordinary late
Graham - learning on the job
Sharp - still way off, I expected more
Farrar - great pressure, could he make it to our best 22?
McLennan - I hope the next year is the year you show us you belong or it could be 2 picks bust
Rosas - I am a bit disappointed he did not get the opportunity as he got Rankine’s moves
Riordan - can we keep him just to make me happy, he is a talent in my eyes

Most improved player
For me it got to be Powell. I could not believe that he was getting better as the season progressed considering he had a limited off-season due to his meniscus surgeries. What a warrior.

Season Grade
B-

Off-season moves
A lot of unknown due to AFL still not being able to come up with list sizes, salary cap. My guess, Brodie is gone. Wright and Fiorini are other trade candidates but looking at recent videos both seem to be around the team and looking involved and happy.

Initial delist candidates - Schoenfeld, C Ellis, Heron, Dawson, Fletcher, GHS.

Draft Davies, Jeffrey. Bringing in Broad would be great as we miss a lock down defender on bigger bodies like de Goey. Use pick 5 to get an A midfielder with a speed or draft a best available player.

2021 prediction
The team will be one year older, should benefit from building synergy this year. One more year of hard running in the off-season and stronger bodies. Adding 2-3 players in their prime, 24-26 years old, one ideally A talent would help. It is a tough competition, but I predict SUNS will be pushing for finals.

Conclusion
With that I am hoping to see less abuse on this forum when the team struggles. It’s OK to be critical, negative, disagree but it can be done respectfully. Nastiness, abuse is not on. Game threads is not an excuse. Some of these comments don’t reflect well on people who posted them and on this forum including admin.

So many players, similar to general public, struggle mentally, some unfortunately follow social media. Players do try their best and deserve a respect at least. When players play great people worship them but when they approach the end and struggle people turn nasty. It’s actually sad and has nothing to do with supporting the club, players.

Enjoy the off-season.
 
Last edited:

Supersuns

KFC Enthusiast
Mar 14, 2014
6,486
10,240
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Other Teams
Roys FFC
Summary
Season 2020 was a special one due to covid. Different rules, hub environment, limited training, crazy schedule. Big thanks to AFL, players and QLD for making it happen. Wondering what will be the 2021 like. No guarantee the vaccine will be available and work.

A bit difficult to assess the season due to the circumstances but here is my take.

Overall, considering that our starting line was the wooden spoon and 18 losses in a row I review the season as a success. The rebuild, the youngest list, the youngest line-up for the most rounds, the opposition usually 2 years plus older - that was the reality.

We started great riding on Rowell’s and Rankine 's waves. Middle through the season people talked about the possibility of playing finals. We dropped off in some games in the second half.

Positives
It got to be the improvement and development of the majority of our young players. We usually played 6-8 players 20 years old or younger, 9-11 players 22 years old or younger which is quite unprecedented. No doubt this will serve us well in coming seasons. Yes, we could rotate/sprinkle the team with more experienced players but would it accelerate our development? Obviously, these young players are our future core. Looking at Carlton, who won only 7 games while playing one of the oldest teams and not really progressed young players, I am content with our approach.

For the first time like ever we had a minimal injury list. It almost seems like players finally know how to approach the contest. The performance team did a fabulous job. I did not see many teams if any running over us despite the team age and yes, players were making more mistakes under fatigue. No soft injuries during the games is truly amazing.


Game style. To see the progress in the offensive part was very pleasing. We quite often took the game on and cut through the middle.

Clearance work improved significantly. Suns finished top 4 for clearances differential. It dispels the myth about our midfield. The issue is not to get hands on the ball but what we do with the ball, spread. We turned it over and were not cleaned with the ball especially under pressure. Also when the opposition got the ball they moved it way too easily. SUNS are bottom 3 for I50 allowed.


Percentage. It illustrates we were much more competitive and consistent this year. Yes, we had several stinkers but overall a big improvement on the previous season.


Rankine survived! I can't stressed that enough. There was some serious doubt about his body before his debut due to his injuries. Powell’s recovery makes me very happy too.


Negatives
Despite a small injury list, the injuries to Rowell and Thompson were very disappointing, Thompson’s one is possibly career ending. You could label them as key players.

Performance of some senior players, Hanley and Harbrow specifically. I was hoping they would provide maturity around the young players but they struggled. Witts also had some ordinary games, Swallow as well.

We were not able to close out games. Rankine had 3 games on his boot.

Usually our execution under pressure, turnovers, mistakes under fatigue, lack of spread, inexperience killed us.

Some players late in the season showed wear and tear - Collins, Ballard, Luke, Bowes, King, Greenwood. On a positive side, the exposure should serve them well in the future.

We did have some down games. To be honest most teams had them and considering our team age profile and schedule it was expected.
Two of those games came after long breaks (GWS, Lions) which would indicate that the team struggled to prepare physically and mentally after long lay off. Port game round 1, you could attribute that to early covid crazy time.
In Carlton game, short breaks caught up with us and we were cooked from the start.
The worst game was against Hawks, after the team showed a great intensity against Magpies on 5 days break and one man down. Against the Hawks the team struggled badly. Shorter break, waking up at 4 am, spending 3 hours on plane could have something to do with it too. We were as flat as ever early in this game.

Players assessment
It appears we got some future gun prospects on our list - Rowell, Anderson, Luko, King, Rankine.

This year, it was personally very satisfying to witness performances of Rowell, Anderson, Luko, King, Powell, Ballard, Ainsworth, Rankine, Bowes, Budarick, Collins, Greenwood, Miller, Weller, B Ellis.

It was disappointing for me not to see Brodie in the best 22. Fiorini’s performances were also not what I expected. Both are at the end of a queue for an inside midfielder position. And it's a long queue now after the year Rowell and Anderson had.

New additions B Ellis and Greenwood exceeded my expectations.

Harbrow - struggled, development/welfare role while on a list?
Collins - great, first full season for him, dropped off late
Ballard - great, shoulder surgery did not slow him down, dropped off late. Extra 3-4 kg will serve him well
Budarick - great debut, improve kicking accuracy
Luko - future star, his kicks are something else, dropped off late
Hanley - struggled, enjoy retirement
Witts - off-season broken foot hurt his tank, several ordinary games early
Swallow - similar to Witts had some ordinary games, relax you don’t have to blast the ball every time, you got some talent around you now
Miller - super season, B&F candidate, knee issue slowed him down a bit in the middle of the season, absolute warrior, nice deliveries, tackling like possessed in some games, he is not slow!
Greenwood - better than expected, dropped off late, another full preseason will be be good for him
B Ellis - does he actually play better now compared to when he was with Tigers?
King - with more kg will be a star, some memorable moments like late goal against Essendon and 60 meters dash through the midfield
Sexton - mostly good, need to improve in one-on-one contest
Bowes - the king of sidestep, dropped off late
Flanders - showed enough
Weller - very good season, just don’t disappear for parts of the game when the team struggles
Rowell - possibly a new footy God
Anderson - does he have actually a higher ceiling than Rowell?
Rankine - future star, back off critics
Ainsworth - benefited from his first full season, I like what I see
Day - mostly average, brings more pressure, contest than Wright
Corbett - happy with his effort, yeah I know he needs to improve his goal kicking
Macpherson - a bit of a setback season, could struggle to get a game next year
Holman - good games early, ordinary late
Graham - learning on the job
Sharp - still way off, I expected more
Farrar - great pressure, could he make it to our best 22?
McLennan - I hope the next year is the year you show us you belong or it could be 2 picks bust
Rosas - I am a bit disappointed he did not get the opportunity as he got Rankine’s moves
Riordan - can we keep him just to make me happy, he is a talent in my eyes

Most improved player
For me it got to be Powell. I could not believe that he was getting better as the season progressed considering he had a limited off-season due to his meniscus surgeries. What a warrior.

Season Grade
B-

Off-season moves
A lot of unknown due to AFL still not being able to come up with list sizes, salary cap. My guess, Brodie is gone. Wright and Fiorini are other trade candidates but looking at recent videos both seem to be around the team and looking involved and happy.

Initial delist candidates - Schoenfeld, C Ellis, Heron, Dawson, Fletcher, GHS.

Draft Davies, Jeffrey. Bringing in Broad would be great as we miss a lock down defender on bigger bodies like de Goey. Use pick 5 to get an A midfielder with a speed or draft a best available player.

2021 prediction
The team will be one year older, should benefit from building synergy this year. One more year of hard running in the off-season and stronger bodies. Adding 2-3 players in their prime, 24-26 years old, one ideally A talent would help. It is a tough competition, but I predict SUNS will be pushing for finals.

Conclusion
With that I am hoping to see less abuse on this forum when the team struggles. It’s OK to be critical, negative, disagree but it can be done respectfully. Nastiness, abuse is not on. Game threads is not an excuse. Some of these comments don’t reflect well on people who posted them and on this forum including admin.

So many players, similar to general public, struggle mentally, some unfortunately follow social media. Players do try their best and deserve a respect at least. When players play great people worship them but when they approach the end and struggle people turn nasty. It’s actually sad and has nothing to do with supporting the club, players.

Enjoy the off-season.
Fantastic write up mate. Absolutely agree with everything you said. Brilliant
 

Cochblocked

Premiership Player
Sep 25, 2012
4,619
6,351
Geelong
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Summary
Season 2020 was a special one due to covid. Different rules, hub environment, limited training, crazy schedule. Big thanks to AFL, players and QLD for making it happen. Wondering what will be the 2021 like. No guarantee the vaccine will be available and work.

A bit difficult to assess the season due to the circumstances but here is my take.

Overall, considering that our starting line was the wooden spoon and 18 losses in a row I review the season as a success. The rebuild, the youngest list, the youngest line-up for the most rounds, the opposition usually 2 years plus older - that was the reality.

We started great riding on Rowell’s and Rankine 's waves. Middle through the season people talked about the possibility of playing finals. We dropped off in some games in the second half.

Positives
It got to be the improvement and development of the majority of our young players. We usually played 6-8 players 20 years old or younger, 9-11 players 22 years old or younger which is quite unprecedented. No doubt this will serve us well in coming seasons. Yes, we could rotate/sprinkle the team with more experienced players but would it accelerate our development? Obviously, these young players are our future core. Looking at Carlton, who won only 7 games while playing one of the oldest teams and not really progressed young players, I am content with our approach.

For the first time like ever we had a minimal injury list. It almost seems like players finally know how to approach the contest. The performance team did a fabulous job. I did not see many teams if any running over us despite the team age and yes, players were making more mistakes under fatigue. No soft injuries during the games is truly amazing.


Game style. To see the progress in the offensive part was very pleasing. We quite often took the game on and cut through the middle.

Clearance work improved significantly. Suns finished top 4 for clearances differential. It dispels the myth about our midfield. The issue is not to get hands on the ball but what we do with the ball, spread. We turned it over and were not cleaned with the ball especially under pressure. Also when the opposition got the ball they moved it way too easily. SUNS are bottom 3 for I50 allowed.


Percentage. It illustrates we were much more competitive and consistent this year. Yes, we had several stinkers but overall a big improvement on the previous season.


Rankine survived! I can't stressed that enough. There was some serious doubt about his body before his debut due to his injuries. Powell’s recovery makes me very happy too.


Negatives
Despite a small injury list, the injuries to Rowell and Thompson were very disappointing, Thompson’s one is possibly career ending. You could label them as key players.

Performance of some senior players, Hanley and Harbrow specifically. I was hoping they would provide maturity around the young players but they struggled. Witts also had some ordinary games, Swallow as well.

We were not able to close out games. Rankine had 3 games on his boot.

Usually our execution under pressure, turnovers, mistakes under fatigue, lack of spread, inexperience killed us.

Some players late in the season showed wear and tear - Collins, Ballard, Luke, Bowes, King, Greenwood. On a positive side, the exposure should serve them well in the future.

We did have some down games. To be honest most teams had them and considering our team age profile and schedule it was expected.
Two of those games came after long breaks (GWS, Lions) which would indicate that the team struggled to prepare physically and mentally after long lay off. Port game round 1, you could attribute that to early covid crazy time.
In Carlton game, short breaks caught up with us and we were cooked from the start.
The worst game was against Hawks, after the team showed a great intensity against Magpies on 5 days break and one man down. Against the Hawks the team struggled badly. Shorter break, waking up at 4 am, spending 3 hours on plane could have something to do with it too. We were as flat as ever early in this game.

Players assessment
It appears we got some future gun prospects on our list - Rowell, Anderson, Luko, King, Rankine.

This year, it was personally very satisfying to witness performances of Rowell, Anderson, Luko, King, Powell, Ballard, Ainsworth, Rankine, Bowes, Budarick, Collins, Greenwood, Miller, Weller, B Ellis.

It was disappointing for me not to see Brodie in the best 22. Fiorini’s performances were also not what I expected. Both are at the end of a queue for an inside midfielder position. And it's a long queue now after the year Rowell and Anderson had.

New additions B Ellis and Greenwood exceeded my expectations.

Harbrow - struggled, development/welfare role while on a list?
Collins - great, first full season for him, dropped off late
Ballard - great, shoulder surgery did not slow him down, dropped off late. Extra 3-4 kg will serve him well
Budarick - great debut, improve kicking accuracy
Luko - future star, his kicks are something else, dropped off late
Hanley - struggled, enjoy retirement
Witts - off-season broken foot hurt his tank, several ordinary games early
Swallow - similar to Witts had some ordinary games, relax you don’t have to blast the ball every time, you got some talent around you now
Miller - super season, B&F candidate, knee issue slowed him down a bit in the middle of the season, absolute warrior, nice deliveries, tackling like possessed in some games, he is not slow!
Greenwood - better than expected, dropped off late, another full preseason will be be good for him
B Ellis - does he actually play better now compared to when he was with Tigers?
King - with more kg will be a star, some memorable moments like late goal against Essendon and 60 meters dash through the midfield
Sexton - mostly good, need to improve in one-on-one contest
Bowes - the king of sidestep, dropped off late
Flanders - showed enough
Weller - very good season, just don’t disappear for parts of the game when the team struggles
Rowell - possibly a new footy God
Anderson - does he have actually a higher ceiling than Rowell?
Rankine - future star, back off critics
Ainsworth - benefited from his first full season, I like what I see
Day - mostly average, brings more pressure, contest than Wright
Corbett - happy with his effort, yeah I know he needs to improve his goal kicking
Macpherson - a bit of a setback season, could struggle to get a game next year
Holman - good games early, ordinary late
Graham - learning on the job
Sharp - still way off, I expected more
Farrar - great pressure, could he make it to our best 22?
McLennan - I hope the next year is the year you show us you belong or it could be 2 picks bust
Rosas - I am a bit disappointed he did not get the opportunity as he got Rankine’s moves
Riordan - can we keep him just to make me happy, he is a talent in my eyes

Most improved player
For me it got to be Powell. I could not believe that he was getting better as the season progressed considering he had a limited off-season due to his meniscus surgeries. What a warrior.

Season Grade
B-

Off-season moves
A lot of unknown due to AFL still not being able to come up with list sizes, salary cap. My guess, Brodie is gone. Wright and Fiorini are other trade candidates but looking at recent videos both seem to be around the team and looking involved and happy.

Initial delist candidates - Schoenfeld, C Ellis, Heron, Dawson, Fletcher, GHS.

Draft Davies, Jeffrey. Bringing in Broad would be great as we miss a lock down defender on bigger bodies like de Goey. Use pick 5 to get an A midfielder with a speed or draft a best available player.

2021 prediction
The team will be one year older, should benefit from building synergy this year. One more year of hard running in the off-season and stronger bodies. Adding 2-3 players in their prime, 24-26 years old, one ideally A talent would help. It is a tough competition, but I predict SUNS will be pushing for finals.

Conclusion
With that I am hoping to see less abuse on this forum when the team struggles. It’s OK to be critical, negative, disagree but it can be done respectfully. Nastiness, abuse is not on. Game threads is not an excuse. Some of these comments don’t reflect well on people who posted them and on this forum including admin.

So many players, similar to general public, struggle mentally, some unfortunately follow social media. Players do try their best and deserve a respect at least. When players play great people worship them but when they approach the end and struggle people turn nasty. It’s actually sad and has nothing to do with supporting the club, players.

Enjoy the off-season.
Was going to do a write up but this pretty much covers all my points. Great work.

On the last part, I also do find it annoying the over the top critisims but that's bigfooty. Go onto any club's threads and you get the exact same. I just hope we continue to get a range of opinions and ideas. As probably the smallest board we really need a wide range of opinions to fill the threads espaically from the full Suns fans that have been there day 1.
 

MITS

Worlds shortest giant
Feb 3, 2017
906
5,187
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Summary
Season 2020 was a special one due to covid. Different rules, hub environment, limited training, crazy schedule. Big thanks to AFL, players and QLD for making it happen. Wondering what will be the 2021 like. No guarantee the vaccine will be available and work.

A bit difficult to assess the season due to the circumstances but here is my take.

Overall, considering that our starting line was the wooden spoon and 18 losses in a row I review the season as a success. The rebuild, the youngest list, the youngest line-up for the most rounds, the opposition usually 2 years plus older - that was the reality.

We started great riding on Rowell’s and Rankine's waves. Middle through the season people talked about the possibility of playing finals. We dropped off in some games in the second half.

Positives
It got to be the improvement and development of the majority of our young players. We usually played 6-8 players 20 years old or younger, 9-11 players 22 years old or younger which is quite unprecedented. No doubt this will serve us well in coming seasons. Yes, we could rotate/sprinkle the team with more experienced players but would it accelerate our development? Obviously, these young players are our future core. Looking at Carlton, who won only 7 games while playing one of the oldest teams and not really progressed young players, I am content with our approach.

For the first time like ever we had a minimal injury list. It almost seems like players finally know how to approach the contest. The performance team did a fabulous job. I did not see many teams if any running over us despite the team age and yes, players were making more mistakes under fatigue. No soft injuries during the games is truly amazing.


Game style. To see the progress in the offensive part was very pleasing. We quite often took the game on and cut through the middle.

Clearance work improved significantly. Suns finished top 4 for clearances differential. It dispels the myth about our midfield. The issue is not to get hands on the ball but what we do with the ball, spread. We turned it over and were not cleaned with the ball especially under pressure. Also when the opposition got the ball they moved it way too easily. SUNS are bottom 3 for I50 allowed.


Percentage. It illustrates we were much more competitive and consistent this year. Yes, we had several stinkers but overall a big improvement on the previous season.


Rankine survived! I can't stressed that enough. There was some serious doubt about his body before his debut due to his injuries. Powell’s recovery makes me very happy too.


Negatives
Despite a small injury list, the injuries to Rowell and Thompson were very disappointing, Thompson’s one is possibly career ending. You could label them as key players.

Performance of some senior players, Hanley and Harbrow specifically. I was hoping they would provide maturity around the young players but they struggled. Witts also had some ordinary games, Swallow as well.

We were not able to close out the games. Rankine had 3 games on his boot.

Usually our execution under pressure, turnovers, mistakes under fatigue, lack of spread, inexperience killed us.

Some players late in the season showed wear and tear - Collins, Ballard, Luko, Bowes, King, Greenwood. On a positive side, the exposure should serve them well in the future.

We did have some down games. To be honest most teams had them and considering our team age profile and schedule it was expected.
Two of those games came after long breaks (GWS, Lions) which would indicate that the team struggled to prepare physically and mentally after long lay off. Port game round 1, you could attribute that to early covid crazy time.
In Carlton game, short breaks caught up with us and we were cooked from the start.
The worst game was against Hawks, after the team showed a great intensity against Magpies on 5 days break and one man down. Against the Hawks the team struggled badly. Shorter break, waking up at 4 am, spending 3 hours on the plane could have something to do with it too. We were as flat as ever early in this game.

Players assessment
It appears we got some future gun prospects on our list - Rowell, Anderson, Luko, King, Rankine.

This year, it was personally very satisfying to witness performances of Rowell, Anderson, Luko, King, Powell, Ballard, Ainsworth, Rankine, Bowes, Budarick, Collins, Greenwood, Miller, Weller, B Ellis.

It was disappointing for me not to see Brodie in the best 22. Fiorini’s performances were also not what I expected. Both are at the end of a queue for an inside midfielder position. And it's a long queue now after the year Rowell and Anderson had.

New additions B Ellis and Greenwood exceeded my expectations.

Harbrow - struggled, development/welfare role while on a list?
Collins - great, first full season for him, dropped off late
Ballard - great, shoulder surgery did not slow him down, dropped off late. Extra 3-4 kg will serve him well
Budarick - great debut, improve kicking accuracy
Luko - future star, his kicks are something else, dropped off late
Hanley - struggled, enjoy retirement
Witts - off-season broken foot hurt his tank, several ordinary games early
Swallow - similar to Witts had some ordinary games, relax you don’t have to blast the ball every time, you got some talent around you now
Miller - super season, B&F candidate, knee issue slowed him down a bit in the middle of the season, absolute warrior, nice deliveries, tackling like possessed in some games, he is not slow!
Greenwood - better than expected, dropped off late, another full preseason will be be good for him
B Ellis - does he actually play better now compared to when he was with Tigers?
King - with more kg will be a star, some memorable moments like late goal against Essendon and 60 meters dash through the midfield
Sexton - mostly good, need to improve in one-on-one contest
Bowes - the king of sidestep, dropped off late
Flanders - showed enough
Weller - very good season, just don’t disappear for parts of the game when the team struggles
Rowell - possibly a new footy God
Anderson - does he have actually a higher ceiling than Rowell?
Rankine - future star, back off critics
Ainsworth - benefited from his first full season, I like what I see
Day - mostly average, brings more pressure, contest than Wright
Corbett - happy with his effort, yeah I know he needs to improve his goal kicking
Macpherson - a bit of a setback season, could struggle to get a game next year
Holman - good games early, ordinary late
Graham - learning on the job
Sharp - still way off, I expected more
Farrar - great pressure, could he make it to our best 22?
McLennan - I hope the next year is the year you show us you belong or it could be 2 picks bust
Rosas - I am a bit disappointed he did not get the opportunity as he got Rankine’s moves
Riordan - can we keep him just to make me happy, he is a talent in my eyes

Most improved player
For me it got to be Powell. I could not believe that he was getting better as the season progressed considering he had a limited off-season due to his meniscus surgeries. What a warrior.

Season Grade
B-

Off-season moves
A lot of unknown due to AFL still not being able to come up with list sizes, salary cap. My guess, Brodie is gone. Wright and Fiorini are other trade candidates but looking at recent videos both seem to be around the team and looking involved and happy.

Initial delist candidates - Schoenfeld, C Ellis, Heron, Dawson, Fletcher, GHS.

Draft Davies, Jeffrey. Bringing in Broad would be great as we miss a lock down defender on bigger bodies like de Goey. Use pick 5 to get an A midfielder with a speed or draft a best available player.

2021 prediction
The team will be one year older, should benefit from building synergy this year. One more year of hard running in the off-season and stronger bodies. Adding 2-3 players in their prime, 24-26 years old, one ideally A talent would help. It is a tough competition, but I predict SUNS will be pushing for finals.

Conclusion
With that I am hoping to see less abuse on this forum when the team struggles. It’s OK to be critical, negative, disagree but it can be done respectfully. Nastiness, abuse is not on. Game threads is not an excuse. Some of these comments don’t reflect well on people who posted them and on this forum including admin.

So many players, similar to general public, struggle mentally, some unfortunately follow social media. Players do try their best and deserve a respect at least. When players play great people worship them but when they approach the end and struggle people turn nasty. It’s actually sad and has nothing to do with supporting the club, players.

Enjoy the off-season.
Fantastic effort mate.
Would you be interested in fish Whiting’s job. That belongs in a paper somewhere. I hope it makes it to someone’s hands at the club. Shame I can only give you one like for it.
 

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