It may only be late February but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for the Gold Coast Suns.
Led by the top two picks in last year’s draft – Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson – the Suns obliterated an out-of-sorts Geelong outfit by 68 points at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
After impressing onlookers during last week’s scratch match against Brisbane, Rowell collected 20 touches in his first official match and didn’t look out of place playing in his favoured inside midfield role.
Noah Anderson kicked a classy goal in the third quarter while having 14 disposals across the night.
“It’s a different team to last year,” Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said post-match.
“Further to that, we’ve probably got a somewhere between seven to 10 guys that played last year which we’ve still got to come back in.
“The pleasing thing about that is there’s competition for spots. It’s a good moment as we’ve got a lot of our first-year players’ families up here so it’s good they got to see them playing well.”
Perhaps more pleasingly for the Suns would be to see the continual improvement of players who have been at the club for a number of years, with the likes of Darcy McPherson (31 touches), Will Brodie (29 touches) and David Swallow (25 touches) all putting in good displays alongside new recruit Hugh Greenwood and Brandon Ellis.
The Suns will next take on Adelaide on March 6 while the Cats head to Colac to face Essendon on March 9 before the regular season begins.