AFL SUNS MAGPIESIt isn’t quite George Orwell’s 1984, but Gold Coast midfielder Jarryd Lyons says the Suns’ penchant for capturing everything on camera will help the side as they begin a new era under rookie coach Stuart Dew.
Dew, a two-time AFL premiership player and former Sydney assistant coach, is among the first wave of AFL mentors to have graduated from the code’s new accreditation course.
His modern touches can be seen and heard at training courtesy of the music blaring to replicate the game day and the drones hovering overhead capturing every move.
The club is also working with technology partner, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, on ways to assist the football department and streamline data analysis.
With marquee man Gary Ablett returning to Geelong before Dew arrived on the Gold Coast, Lyons says it is a fresh start for the Suns.
“Stu wasn’t ever there when Gary was, so he really had nothing to do with that, never mentioned it and it made the transition a pretty simple one,” Lyons said.
“He never had a chance to worry about it.”
The Suns finished 17th last season, with Lyons forced to watch his old club finish on top of the ladder and ultimately fall in the grand final to Richmond.
He insists life is good though, with the club’s Orwellian approach to training right up his alley.
“It’s definitely different … I’m into my eighth season now and a lot has changed since I started,” Lyons, who has two seasons to run on his contract, said.
“The key thing is technology; lots of cameras and programs and drones and lots of reviewing.
“Vision review suits me; everyone’s different, but it definitely works for me, but it means there’s definitely no hiding out there.”
Despite the loss of Ablett, Lyons will fight with the likes of Fremantle recruit Lachie Weller, Jarrod Witts, Aaron Hall, David Swallow, Touk Miller and Michael Barlow for time in the engine room.
But the Sandringham Dragons product is yet to miss a training session this preseason and is confident of playing a big role.
“I’m running better and have had more time on the track; personally to not have missed a session so far this preseason is a big thing for me,” he said.
“(With Ablett gone) it’s up to the rest of us, as a group, to step up and fill that void.”