One of Gold Coast's most skilful players might be set for a switch in positions for the upcoming AFLW season.

Kalinda Howarth, who was an All-Australian in 2020 as a clever mid-sized forward, has spent time in defence during the SUNS' first pre-season under Cameron Joyce.

And the 22-year-old told it took a little coercing of the new coach to try her in the back half.

"I finally convinced them to let me have a little go back there," Howarth laughed.

"It was super fun and really good for my personal development.

"I've played in the forward line the vast majority of my career, so I think going back there I can read the footy quite well.

"I just think I need to be more versatile as a player and I just haven't been exposed in those other areas.

"Hopefully you might see me go back a little bit."

Howarth excelled in a recent match simulation, reading the play and intercepting well at half-back.

Following her breakout 2020, where she kicked nine goals from seven matches to earn the All-Australian nod, Howarth's form tailed off last season.

The dash, flair and skill that had characterised her play simply wasn't there.

"I've gotten back to enjoying my footy," she said.

"Having Joycey come up has just been incredible, and instilled a lot of belief in me personally.

"Getting back to enjoying my footy, hopefully that'll bring out the best in me.

"Last year I had a pretty interrupted season through injury. I wasn't performing and I think mentally I was a bit drained and out of it.

"It's been really good to have Joycey come in and instil all this belief."

Howarth said a heavy skills focus during the pre-season had suited her down to the ground.