Gold Coast defender Jarrod Harbrow says he has watched fellow AFL expansion side Greater Western Sydney’s emphatic rise this season with envy.
Harbrow will play his 100th game for the Suns on Saturday when they host Melbourne at Metricon Stadium.
But the good times he hoped were coming when he left the Western Bulldogs at the end of 2010 to join Gold Coast were yet to arrive.
Instead, Harbrow’s milestone comes while the are Suns reeling from one of their worst defeats in the club’s short history – a 120-point demolition at the hands of Geelong.
Even worse, it came on the same day the Giants – who entered the competition a year later, and with what was widely seen as a much weaker list than Gold Coast’s – marked their arrival as an AFL force with a 75-point win over premiers Hawthorn.
Harbrow insisted the Suns didn’t use the Giants, or any other AFL team, as a measuring stick – but he admitted he was frustrated to see them progressing, and his side stagnant.
“Good on them. I think they’re playing well,” Harbrow said.
“They deserve it. We’re not there – we want to be there.
“They’re obviously playing as a team and doing all the little things we’re not doing at the moment.
“We don’t compare ourselves to GWS or any other team. We’ve got to control what we can control and that’s our actions.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to hard work and we’re not doing that.”
Suns players had what Harbrow described as a “brutal” video review of the Geelong defeat on Monday and said the team took some harsh lessons away from it.
“A lot of players got challenged by coaches, but the most important thing was that the players out there took ownership and we had to drive that meeting,” he said.
“You could use the term brutal, but I think it was just open and honest with each other.
“There was not a lot of positives to take out of the game, but I think we know that when we’re playing at our best, we’re doing all the basic, simple things.
“The more we do that and the more we’re honest with our effort, I think naturally we’ll play better as a team.”