Stuart Dew prepares Gold Coast Suns for ‘hard to play’ Fremantle Dockers
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew is preparing his charges to get down and dirty at a sodden Metricon Stadium against Fremantle in the Suns’ latest AFL top-eight challenge.
After opening their 2022 campaign against West Coast in Perth, the Suns have taken on a number of high-flying teams this season including premiers Melbourne, Carlton, St Kilda and Sydney.
Despite that challenging draw, last week’s win over the Swans at the SCG has put Dew’s team 3-5 and on the verge of pushing into the top eight if they can put some consistent results together.
The second-placed Dockers, however, represent a big hurdle in that quest to the top end of the standings, with Justin Longmuir’s team riding high in second place with seven wins and just one defeat in 2022.
“They’ve been hard to play against for a little while now and obviously JL’s got them playing a good system,” Dew said.
“Very organised, well coached, well drilled and they’re playing their part.
“It should be a good battle.
“We’ve played a lot of teams in the eight which is good for our development, but also looking to take as many scalps as we can.”
Sunday’s match is looming to be a damp affair with persistent rain falling across south-east Queensland for most of the week and the forecast predicting up to 35mm on game day.
The conditions will add an extra challenge for Longmuir’s men, who have lost their past three games at Metricon Stadium against the Suns.
The Dockers coach is hopeful more exposure to the venue during the 2020 COVID-19 hub on the Gold Coast will ensure there are no demons lurking for his team.
“Although we haven’t got the job done at Metricon the last few times, we’ve played a fair bit of footy there over the last three years,” Longmuir said.
“We take a fair bit of confidence from that.
“We know when we bring our footy to that ground, we can play really well there.”
The Dockers have lost veteran forward Michael Walters to COVID-19 protocols, but Longmuir has recalled Rory Lobb, Blake Acres, Travis Collyer and Michael Frederick to his team with Griffin Logue named on the extended bench.
The Suns lost Jack Lukosius after he re-aggravated a knee injury against the Swans, but welcome back young midfielder Noah Anderson who missed last weekend’s win due to illness.
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