BRIGHT SUNS ON THE RISE
EXCLUSIVE: Gold Coast Suns midfielder Mitch Hallahan says coach Rodney Eade has been pleased with how the team has been tracking during the JLT Community Series pre-season matches.
Hallahan, who is facing a testing 2017 where he will try to break into what will be a powerful on-ball Suns brigade, headed by superstar Gary Ablett Junior, said the signs are good.
"Rocket (Rodney Eade) has been pretty pleased, but being so early in the season, he said that there are still plenty of areas that we need to work on,” Hallahan said while visiting Tannum Sands and Gladstone state high schools for a community clinic.
Gold Coast remain undefeated after games against the Brisbane Lions and Sunday's three point win against Essendon in Mackay.
Hallahan said it had been an education to work alongside Ablett.
"Gazza leads by his actions and with his voice on the field, but he's quite reserved off the field,” Hallahan said.
"He's willing to educate the younger players.”
Hallahan, who also visited the Kin Kora and Tannum primary schools on Monday, said the level of interest in Australian Rules football here was a pleasant surprise.
"I have been blown away with how much AFL interest there has been up here and how much they know about the game,” Hallahan said.
"It was quite an eye-opening experience and also with the girls now pushing the boys.”
As for pushing for selection in the senior team, Hallahan hopes he gets the chance to impress in this weekend's trial against 2016 premiers, the Western Bulldogs.
"I'm hoping to get a guernsey against the Dogs and it will be a good solid hit-out before the season starts, where we have tough games against the Lions, GWS and the Hawks,” Hallahan said.
The midfielder was a co-captain of the Dandenong Stingrays team in the TAC Cup in 2010.