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Eight SUNS Academy players selected into Allies Squad

The 2018 Under 18 Allies Squad has been announced following the conclusion of the NAB Academy Series.

10:45am  May 24, 2018

Heron's debut one of a kind

Jacob Heron is going to find himself in some good trivia quizzes regardless of what happens in the rest of his AFL career.

2:55pm  May 23, 2018

Running men: Keeping track of your club's speedsters

Who racks up the most kilometres in a game at your club? Who's hit the highest speed in a sprint? It's not always who you might think.

1:15pm  May 23, 2018

We'll fight for AFLW: a letter from Mark Evans

Mark Evans  July 24, 2017 4:15 PM

The SUNS, with the support of AFL Queensland, believe that as an industry we have an opportunity to empower women by advancing their access to the highest level of our great game.

This column originally appeared in and was written for our media partner the Gold Coast Bulletin.


By Mark Evans. 


When I sat in front of the media to be announced as the Gold Coast SUNS' new Chief Executive in March this year I made a promise.

A promise to fight like hell to secure a women’s team for the Gold Coast.

Why? Because I believe our girls deserve an AFLW team.

Our girls are amongst the most promising junior footballers in the country and like many others deserve the chance to represent their city.

After all, the Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city.

In June, the SUNS joined seven other AFL teams to bid for an AFLW licence for the 2019 season and on Thursday we will have the opportunity to present our case to the AFL in Melbourne.

The SUNS, with the support of AFL Queensland, believe that as an industry we have an opportunity to empower women by advancing their access to the highest level of our great game.

The establishment of a Gold Coast SUNS AFLW team will inspire true equality for females throughout the Gold Coast, North Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

Allowing these non-traditional, but booming female participation AFL markets to provide females with an equal opportunity to play elite Australian Football.

Make no mistake, the Gold Coast SUNS are here to grow our game. It’s a role we take seriously and is supported by real growth. Working hand in hand with AFL Queensland, participation in our raw AFL market has grown by over 200% in the past seven years, including a staggering 280% increase in female participation.

These numbers demonstrate that at a community level our game is for women as much as men, while at the elite level, Queensland is talent ready for a second AFLW Licence.

Industry experts predicts that 14 Gold Coast Academy players will be drafted over next three drafts.

The inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Academy boasts five Gold Coast SUNS Academy players, and of the nine Queenslanders named in the Under 18 All-Australian Squad at last week’s National Championships, seven were SUNS Academy players.

It is a real possibility, with the introduction of a Gold Coast Suns AFLW team that within ten years Queensland would become the number one state for female participation, talent, fans, coaches and umpires.

Aside from what that would mean for Australian Football in Queensland, imagine what that does to the motivation, enthusiasm, confidence and belief for young girls across our state as we encourage girls to become and remain active.

A decision on the successful bids will come later in the year, but whichever way it falls, we want to be the best club in the country at integrating our Male and Female Academies and pathways, all the way up to our elite AFL teams.