Second year syndrome won’t be an issue for the Gold Coast Suns, according to captain Gary Ablett. The portents aren’t good after Gold Coast became newcomers Greater Western Sydney’s very first scalp on the weekend, going down by 13 points in their pre-season clash in Albury.
But Ablett – who was rested from the GWS debacle – was not reaching for the panic button despite a 1-3 pre-season record.
“There’s no doubt we’re disappointed in some of our performances,” said Ablett, who will return for the Suns’ final pre-season clash against Sydney at Blacktown.
“I think having such a young side, coming from under-18s footy where there’s no defence, it’s all about attack and getting out there and getting the ball, I think that’s been the biggest change.
“If you look at the most successful sides over the past few years, they’ve had a really good defence so we’ve been working on that really hard this pre-season and it’s taken time but we’re slowly getting there and there’s no doubt we’re slowly improving.
“It doesn’t happen straight away but I think if we’re competitive and we play the way we want to play we’re going to win a lot more games than we did last year and I guess that’s our aim this year.”
And Ablett had an unorthodox solution for turning their fortunes around – take more risks.
“We know the result sometimes is going to be turnovers,” he said.
“I think it’s important the more risks these boys do take, the more we’re going to improve down the track.
“I think you’ll see a pretty quick improvement this year.
“We’ve been doing a lot of training with our kicking over the pre-season and there’s no doubt we’ve improved but when you first come into games the boys are always going to be a bit scratchy and miss a few targets but hopefully we can fix that up as the games go on.”