The Suns will rise, just later than expected
I think the expectations placed on the Gold Coast Suns this year were completely unrealistic and decidedly unfair.
After entering the competition and winning three games in their debut season, there was talk that the second year would see them win around 3-6.
Honestly though, in assessing each respective list in the AFL, how many second year players truly blossom? In fact the term ‘second year blues’ is a common one in the AFL, to explain form slumps in younger potential stars of the competition.
Battered and perhaps a little bruised from their first full preseason, they enter the season juggling higher expectations, learning the meaning of a work/life balance, combined with the fact that many would get the niggles and wear and tear that comes with young bodies playing senior football.
Some handle these pressures with maturity beyond their years, but I’d be confident saying that most would not get the balance completely right.
So multiply this by the unique situation that sees practically an entire team full of second year players, and is it any wonder that the Suns struggled to meet external expectations?
Perhaps that’s why the Guy McKenna re-appointment came as a shock to the greater football world, when perhaps internally at the club, they had a more measured and realistic expectation of where the Suns should and would sit in season 2012.
The comparisons that have been drawn with GWS and subsequent criticisms have been the strangest element of this story, given the Suns 2011 season statistically was pretty much identical, except with more ticks in the win column.
Let’s be honest, the second season was never going to be flash.
In fact the maturity shown in recent weeks by the Suns, makes a compelling argument that 2013 will see the Suns take this next step.
Perhaps though it should be seen as expected, rather than overdue.
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