While 2019 has once again seen the new-look Aspley side begin the season slowly with a 2-4 record before the bye, Hornets co-captain James Ives and his team are seeing the improvement throughout the opening rounds.
“I think we understand that it’s a work in progress,” Ives told neafl.com.au.
“I don’t think collectively we feel that 2-4 reflects the progress our team’s made, so we’d like it to be better in terms of the win-loss column in terms of pure outcomes, but in terms of process we understand that we’re building and that we’re getting better with each week which is really important.”
The Hornets went winless through the first three weeks of the season, with 47, 8, and 48 point losses to Sydney University, Southport and Brisbane respectively. However, following their Round 4 bye, have won two of their three matches, including an impressive 79-point win over NT Thunder last Saturday night.
With the bye to rest up ahead of three winnable matches against Southport, Redland and Sydney Uni, Aspley’s attention will remain on the upward trajectory they have set for themselves as a collective.
“The focus is very much on that constant improvement and getting better with every week so we trust that process and trust that the wins will come with it as well,” said Ives.
Ives has noticed – and lauded – his side’s 23-man contribution throughout the season thus far.
“The even contribution across the list at the moment (is our biggest strength),” said Ives.
“We don’t just rely on any one or two guys. That and the overall belief in how we play as a collective knowing that if all of us can bring what’s required on game day, then we’re going to be able to compete and beat any side in the comp.”
Ives is similarly pleased with the performances of the club’s new recruits in 2019, who have added to Aspley’s depth in what is a relatively young squad.
“They’ve (the new recruits) been fantastic,” he said.
“Billy Murphy’s (6 goals against NT) been outstanding, a guy like Liam Dawson’s been amazing, Tom Templeton’s been fantastic. I think there’s so many contributors across the group and the new guys have brought so much, not only on-field, but they’re really good people off-field and it’s just making the club that much better of a place to be.”
In his first season as co-captain, 24-year-old Ives has relished his new leadership role, enjoying the ebbs and flows of leading a young club.
“I’ve loved it,” he said.
“It’s obviously challenging at times, being on the wrong side of the legend in terms of wins and losses comes with natural challenges. It’s been really fun and really enjoyable. Luckily, I’ve got Jackson (Allen) by my side which makes it all the more easier.”
Don’t forget to download our free NEAFL App, featuring live Champion Data stats, player bios and more! Available now from the Google Play and Apple stores.
Have your say! Follow the NEAFL on Twitter (@neaflofficial), Instagram (@neaflofficial) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/neaflofficial).
The Official NEAFL App contains all the latest news and videos from the League and around the clubs. Keep up to date with live scores and live streaming, plus team and player stats as they happen throughout the game.