Joyful Joyce pleased about where his troops are at

THE Gold Coast Suns defeated Port Adelaide on the weekend, and Suns coach Cameron Joyce was pleased with how his team performed in the game, or most of it at least.

“I thought our girls for three quarters in particular I thought were outstanding, and we sort of set the game up to three quarter time. They obviously kicked four in the last quarter top sort of get reasonably close and Tara was able to sort of help us steady that, and then a sort of two and a half goal win. So it was really pleasing against an expansion team that’s got a fair bit of experience about them.”

The match was fiery at times, with the Suns coming up against some old team mates for the first time who had moved to Port in the offseason, which Joyce addressed.

“We want our girls to play on the edge and play aggressive footy and I think we just tipped that over a little bit in the last quarter. So it’s something we’ve spoken to the girls about around our discipline. During the week it’s like we don’t get six points for this game to win, it’s only four, it’s the same result, it’s not extra. People talk about this game and players have left our club, I think it’s another game of footy and that’s how we’ve tried to approach it this week and yes we gave away a few free kicks in the last quarter but outside of that we dominated the game.”

Gold Coast are at a much better place then where they have been in previous seasons, and coach Joyce is really pleased about where his side is at and how they’ve combatted the challenges they have faced thus far this season.

“We really want to improve off the back of last year. We think we’ve done that, but at the same time you come up against some good teams along the way, and they test you. So our three wins I think have been really good wins for us, but we have another challenge next week against Richmond who have just beaten Brisbane yesterday. So the challenges keep coming but we’re really excited to take that on and get down to Melbourne.”

Joyce was also full of praise for the performance of young star Charlie Rowbottom, who had flown back to Queensland the morning of the game after watching brother James in the 2022 AFLM Grand Final the day prior.

“I talk often about her competitiveness, but also to just her want to be the best, and I think the work she’s done with hour midfield coach Sam Illes and in particular and all our midfielders, I think she’s getting the benefit of having some synergy and some real continuity in there with Lauren Bella in the ruck and Claudia Whitfort, Alison Drennan and Ellie Hampson as well. So that group is really going to take us forward. Four of those are 22 and under and are going to play a lot of footy for the Gold Coast Suns. So Charlie is doing her bit but also too helping the others and they’re helping her, so I think it’s a nice mix at the moment, but she just wants to be great and that’s what we love about her, and it doesn’t matter about the conditions, doesn’t matter what’s happened, she just goes out and competes for an hour and a half. No wonder she puts in a performance like that.”

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