There was plenty to like for Gold Coast SUNS NEAFL coach
Nick Malceski in their first hit-out of the year against Brisbane on Saturday.
The strong Lions outfit took home a 40-point victory but
Malceski – with 12 AFL-listed players at his disposal – was pleased with the
side’s endeavour over four quarters.
“We just wanted to out there and play the way we’ve been
training all summer. We wanted to have a crack and try some new things,” he
“We base our game on our contest and I thought that was pretty
good. We had a crack and I thought Nick Holman led the way with that. It was
his first game back from injury so that was exciting for him.
“Brisbane set up (defensively) pretty well and it was only a
few times that we got through them, but when we did, we looked dangerous. We showed
Holman, who played through the middle and up forward, and
Corey Ellis in defence stood out for the SUNS, as did new draftee Malcolm Rosas
Jnr who was lively in the forward line.
NEAFL listed player Hewago Paul Oea continues to impress,
with the practice match a good opportunity for some under-18 academy members
including Bailey Reeves, Aiden Fyfe, Jack Johnston and Rhys Nicholls to get
valuable senior experience.
“We had a few academy players come in for the first time
which was great for their development and they get a good understanding of what
the NEAFL is,” Malceski said.
“’Ace’ (Paul Oea) did some nice stuff and a couple of our
academy boys who haven’t played with us showed they can play at his level as
With 51 players on Gold Coast’s list this year, there is
plenty of competition for spots and a good buzz around the club as they look to
club the ladder at both AFL and NEAFL level.
Malceski expects the momentum to build in the coming weeks
as the countdown to Round 1 continues.
“I think there are a few guys who will be putting pressure
on the seniors for a spot in the first game,” he said.
“We’ve got another practice game against Aspley and that
will be the week of our second AFL Marsh Series game as well, so the team has
another opportunity to do well.
“It’s pretty competitive. Hopefully we get a few guys back
from rehab in the next few weeks.
“I think everyone is positive at this time of the year. We’re
all excited and hopefully both the AFL and NEAFL side can go well this year.”
You can view the full practice match schedule here.
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.