What Has Made The Big Difference This Year ??

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LordLucifer

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 20, 2002
20,681
19,747
The North Shore Daaaahling !!
AFL Club
Carlton
It is really refreshing to see the Suns doing so well this year, they are playing a good "brand" of footy and are quite entertaining to watch for a neutral observer. I've stated elsewhere that I want the two new expansion clubs to really succeed as I genuinely want the code to grow and take over the rugby territories.

However, there is something that has me scratching my head ??

Why are the Suns going so well this year compared to the past ??

The only major changes to the playing list was the inclusion of traded senior players Ellis & Greenwood plus the injection of gun draftees Rowell & Anderson. Some may mount an argument that Rankine is a new recruit also given that he didn't play at all last year.

Going from finishing last in 2019 to being a Top 8 contender 12-months later is some sort of achievement that I wouldn't be surprised if some opposition supporters started to accuse the Suns of tanking last year to get the extra PP.

So where has this sudden improvement come from ??

Can it be put down to the natural maturity of a young talented list, a stark improvement in Stewie Dew's coaching ability or a combination of both ??

Or is it something completely different that I'm missing ??
 

Jirik13

Premiership Player
Jan 22, 2018
3,318
4,177
AFL Club
Gold Coast
It is really refreshing to see the Suns doing so well this year, they are playing a good "brand" of footy and are quite entertaining to watch for a neutral observer. I've stated elsewhere that I want the two new expansion clubs to really succeed as I genuinely want the code to grow and take over the rugby territories.

However, there is something that has me scratching my head ??

Why are the Suns going so well this year compared to the past ??

The only major changes to the playing list was the inclusion of traded senior players Ellis & Greenwood plus the injection of gun draftees Rowell & Anderson. Some may mount an argument that Rankine is a new recruit also given that he didn't play at all last year.

Going from finishing last in 2019 to being a Top 8 contender 12-months later is some sort of achievement that I wouldn't be surprised if some opposition supporters started to accuse the Suns of tanking last year to get the extra PP.

So where has this sudden improvement come from ??

Can it be put down to the natural maturity of a young talented list, a stark improvement in Stewie Dew's coaching ability or a combination of both ??

Or is it something completely different that I'm missing ??
Most important is minimal injury list at the moment and stability. We never had that. Only Rowell and Thompson missing. In 2019 we started the season missing 4, but on average we were missing 7 best 22, sometimes up to 10. Look at how badly North goes right now missing 5-7 best 22.

Greenwood and Ellis exceeded the expectations.

Miller, Bowes, Ballard, Ainsworth, Luko are starting to deliver a quality footy.

This year wins made enormous difference to confidence. Players now really believe they can beat any team.

2nd year under new performance team focused on running. We actually looked better yesterday at the end than WB and that was after 5 days break. It was great to hear Bont that Suns are hard running, contest footy team.

Budarick, Rowell, Anderson, Rankine are great additions.

One more year under Dew and co. More synergy, better understanding of the plan.

I think there is also pressure from our depth to perform. Plenty of good players waiting for the opportunity.
 
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Fat Pizza

Premiership Player
Feb 1, 2001
4,699
1,433
Fitzroy
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Other Teams
Fitzroy
Our midfield is a better mix. Greenwood’s size & strength & Weller’s pace give us elements we lacked last year. Rowell was awesome too for a few weeks. Last year’s mids had a sameness about them that could more easily be exploited. The return of Collins has been huge for our backline too. We would still be vulnerable without him. Last year, our defence was seriously undermanned & the ball was coming in more quickly as the opposition exposed weaknesses in our midfield. We were too easy to score against
 

AuTo00Z

Club Legend
Feb 12, 2014
1,083
1,168
AFL Club
Collingwood
- Maturity of young players and more experience overall
- Less injuries and fitter players (thanks to better high performance staff and facilities)
- More depth (so along with less injuries there is far more competition for spots than there's ever been, and players aren't being gifted games anymore).
- One of the best pressure sides in the comp this year (may even be ranked #1 if I heard correctly last night)
- Having zones and structures instead of man-on-man. Dew has stated numerous times now he had them play man-on-man in his first couple years to teach the players how to compete at AFL level, rather than for example put someone behind the ball in order to damage control, so the players can actually learn. Basically, the gameplan is more focused on winning now than development.

And also, Dew knows the players really well and has a good relationship with them (unlike Eade, who had little understanding about a lot of the playing list, and apparently wasn't well-liked), and his gameplan doesn't rely on too few (unlike McKenna, even though his approach to the first couple of years was basically the same as Dew's)
 

Mt Isa Mustang

Club Legend
Nov 23, 2019
1,953
2,120
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Would be interested to know how many games our young core have played together before this year

Bowes, Ballard, Ainsworth, Weller, Powell, miller

Even though they’ve all been on the list for 3-5 years I reckon there would be <10 games before this year playing together.

Forward line with day, king, Wright, Corbett has ever really been settled. Sexton the only constant.

defence also been variable with Thompson,collins, hombsch, hanley all injured for extensed

It’s easier to bring in new guys to the fold when the core of the team has synergy.

last few years guys like Murdoch, ghs, heron, shoenfeld, Burgess who would be players 35-50 on our list have played a significant amount Of games due to availability issues.

our team has been much more constant this year. Massive for next year aswell.
 

Supersuns

Resident Fatty
Mar 14, 2014
5,920
9,174
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Other Teams
Roys FFC
Would be interested to know how many games our young core have played together before this year

Bowes, Ballard, Ainsworth, Weller, Powell, miller

Even though they’ve all been on the list for 3-5 years I reckon there would be <10 games before this year playing together.

Forward line with day, king, Wright, Corbett has ever really been settled. Sexton the only constant.

defence also been variable with Thompson,collins, hombsch, hanley all injured for extensed

It’s easier to bring in new guys to the fold when the core of the team has synergy.

last few years guys like Murdoch, ghs, heron, shoenfeld, Burgess who would be players 35-50 on our list have played a significant amount Of games due to availability issues.

our team has been much more constant this year. Massive for next year aswell.
You can see the synergy all ready when Luko has the ball and people move for him cause they know he is going to hit the target more often then not. Last year it was so stagnant going forward because noone knew where anyone was going to kick. Its building, there is going to be a lot more teething problems as we go along but you can see the obvious improvement from playing together already
 

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