Gold Coast foundation player Rory Thompson insists there’s increased resolve to turn the AFL club’s around this year.
The Suns have recruited a new-look midfield for the 2017 season, and have also had a change of captains for the first time as they look to start afresh after six seasons of negative win-loss records.
“That’s been a real driver in the way we have come back and the shape everyone has come back in,” Thompson said on Tuesday.
“That attitude towards training has gone up another level,”
Thompson compared the mood at the club as better to that at the same time last season, when the Suns won their first three games before injuries, including his own ankle problems, hit.
“Before a lot of the injuries kicked in there was a really good buzz around the club,” he said.
“This year I think it’s gone up another level.
“Everyone felt it the first day back from the holidays. Everyone had a good break, everyone worked really hard, came back in good condition.”
The 25-year-old also paid tribute to the influence of new recruits Michael Barlow, Pearce Hanley, Jarrod Witts and Jarryd Lyons.
And midfielder Lyons on Tuesday said he had charged himself with part of the responsibility of bringing the Suns to the same levels he had experienced in the past two finals series at Adelaide.
“The challenge of playing in a team that wasn’t quite up there and bringing the team … made me take the plunge,” he said.
“Obviously with myself and Michael Barlow coming in we have a fresh way to look at the midfield and new ways to go about things.
“It’s almost like a coaching role.”
The 24-year-old moved to the Gold Coast after opting to leave Adelaide at the end of last year with 55 games to his name, and he believes the shift can revitalise his career.
“It was more of a fresh start. It was really hard to leave the Crows,” Lyons said.
“But I’ve embraced the decision and I’m really happy with it.”