Much improved but there’s still a long way to go.
That’s the appraisal of Gold Coast midfielder Dion Prestia of the Suns following Sunday’s nine-point AFL loss to Geelong.
After disappointing defeats to Melbourne and St Kilda in their first two fixtures, the Suns put in a much-improved display against the Cats.
However, they still headed home with an 0-3 record against their name.
Prestia says the mood is brighter than following the Suns earlier defeats.
“We brought lots of effort, team defence was the theme of the week, just to get back to that,” Prestia said.
“I still think we should have got the win in the end. We outplayed them.
“It’s a little bit of a confidence boost showing that we can do it but that’s the baseline now.”
The Suns will wonder how they didn’t win given the Cats lost Jimmy Bartel (knee) and Mathew Stokes (leg) before the main break, while key forward Tom Hawkins was a late withdrawal due to family reasons.
Leading by 12 points at halftime the visitors conceded six straight goals in the third term and despite a couple of late rallies, were unable to regain the lead.
One big positive from the game was the performance of West Australian product Jack Martin, with the 20-year-old booting three goals in one of the brightest displays of his brief AFL career.
Prestia said Martin’s “awesome” display was a reward for a greater defensive effort against the Cats.
“He’s a bit of a poster-boy for our press-up defence and our forward line pressure,” he said.
“From that his offensive game comes … when he’s individually on defensively, he gets the goals and gets rewarded.
“That’s his standard now so we expect that every week from him.”