Suns and Lions create own history - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns and Lions create own history

By Darren Cartwright 06/03/2011 05:21:44 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast's veteran recruit Josh Fraser says the Suns' clash with Brisbane can potentially outstrip the atmosphere he experienced with Collingwood against traditional AFL rivals Carlton.

The Suns will take on the Lions in the first Queensland derby, albeit in a practice match at Southport next Sunday.

They will officially meet for the first time in round seven when the Suns host Brisbane at the Gabba on May 7.

However, Fraser said next week's clash will have plenty of feeling and will eventually rival Adelaide and Port Adelaide showdowns and Fremantle and West Coast derbies.

"When you look at Collingwood and Carlton games, I guess having two teams for pure state rivalry this is going to be exciting," Fraser told AAP.

"It's great for the Suns and the Lions and we are really looking forward to next week.

"It's a derby, the first one, and we have a lot of guys fighting for a spot come round two, so there's a fair bit at stake and there's bragging rights."

But the Suns still have plenty of work to do before their first competition match.

Even though they fielded their weakest side during their 11-goal loss on Saturday against Sydney, the fledgling AFL side still has to gel before the season opener in round two against Carlton.

Fraser said it was apparent they had some fine tuning to do but he warned they also had an extra week to prepare for their debut as they had a bye in round one.

"There's a few things we a need to work on from the Swan's game," he said.

"It's a great opportunity for us to keep building and the strength of this side is fighting for senior spots.

"The club I was at last year, there was this on-going fight for spots in the side and we are in this unique position where we are going to have a lot of kids play.

"These kids will be licking their lips for the opportunity to go out there and prove themselves."

The Suns were missing at least 10 of their best players against Sydney including skipper Gary Ablett, midfielders Jared Brennan, Michael Rischitelli and No.1 draft pick Michael Rischitelli.

Fraser said the Suns were working their way into form although they will have a reality check against the Lions who will be using the clash at Southport to springboard into the AFL season.

"They'll be intense and they will be hard at and we are up for the challenge," Fraser said.

"We will be playing on some quality players, like (Jonathan) Brown, (Simon) Black and (Luke) Power and they have quality right through that side."

Fraser's career was on thin ice at Magpies before the Suns reignited his career with a two-year contract in which he has the added value of being an on-field mentor.

He was clearly amongst the Suns best against Sydney in wet and heavy conditions.

"I've pulled up really good and really happy with my pre-season to date," he said.

"To have the pre-season I've got I am really excited about going into the pre-season."

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