2020 AFL Women’s team preview: Gold Coast SUNS

ONE of four expansion teams joining the AFL Women’s competition in 2020, the Gold Coast Suns have plenty to offer with lots of young talent coming through the ranks alongside some experienced names. We take a look at how they will shape up in the elite competition.


Jamie Stanton (midfielder)

A talented midfielder, Stanton is sure to slot in well with the new side, especially coming in as one of the more experienced players and coming into her third club in four seasons. The ex-Matilda soccer player has clean skills with plenty to offer the Suns, winning plenty of ball and making the most of opportunities down the middle of the field. With a high work rate and experience at the top level, Stanton will be a key contribution to the Suns’ young side.


Ellie Hampson (defender)

A star in the making, Hampson all but had a target put on her back in 2019 as a pre-listed Suns player – proving Gold Coast has the faith she will back up her junior form at AFL Women’s level. Earning a state MVP award in the 2019 Under-18 AFL Women’s National Championships put the icing on the cake, with her defensive nous and ability to find the ball. Her strength to break free of the tackle is impressive while her booming kick helps to clear the ball out of congestion.


Kitara Whap-Farrar (defender)

Another pre-listed youngster, Whap-Farrar has the game smarts and speed well ahead of her years, making her a tough player to come up against. The backliner is a hard worker, with clean hands and an ability to evade tacklers thanks to her keen eye on the footy. Her marking prowess and aerial ability are real features of her game, creating a force to be reckoned with wherever she is played.


CONFERENCE OPPONENTS: Adelaide, Brisbane, GWS GIANTS, Geelong, North Melbourne, Richmond.


Round 1 – @ GWS GIANTS
Round 2 – vs. Richmond
Round 3 – vs. Brisbane
Round 4 – @ North Melbourne
Round 5 – vs. Geelong
Round 6 – @ West Coast
Round 7 – vs. Adelaide
Round 8 – @ Melbourne

The big test for Gold Coast in their inaugural season is how they shape up against their state rivals in Brisbane, though the match prior against fellow expansion side in Richmond will answer a real question of which side has the better start to the competition. With matches against dominant and consistent outfits in Adelaide and Melbourne respectively in the final two rounds of the season, the Suns will need to sprint out of the blocks if they have any chance of making finals. Their middle road of the season seems to be their best bet to compete for consecutive wins, taking on Geelong and West Coast.

PREDICTION: 6th/7th in Conference A

Ultimately in the tougher conference of the two, Gold Coast will have a tough slog ahead of them to get over the likes of Adelaide, North Melbourne and Richmond who are all shaping up to be tough competitors. That being said, they have some really good young talent coming up through the ranks, which could make them a smokey coming up against other young teams making for an exciting first season.

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