Get Set Queensland. The Gold Coast SUNS have successfully obtained an AFLW licence for the 2020 season.
The GC SUNS successful bid for a women’s licence was announced following a meeting of the AFL Commission.
GC SUNS Chief Executive Mark Evans said the establishment of an AFLW team will inspire true equality for females throughout the Gold Coast, North Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
“We are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to establish a team for our girls. We may be non-traditional AFL markets, but the Gold Coast, North Queensland and Northern New South Wales are booming female participation markets and the girls deserve a team,” Evans said.
“This is a significant day for our club and the game here in Queensland. As a club we 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 team. Over the next three drafts it’s anticipated that 14 Gold Coast Academy players will be drafted and that’s only going to grow.”
Evans said discussions had begun with AFL Queensland around the best way to strengthen women’s football on the Gold Coast and prepare the SUNS for entry into the AFLW.
“Discussions are underway to establish a presence in the state league competition in 2018. What that looks like is still to be finalised, but it needs to be an outcome that assists AFLQ, the local clubs and allows the Gold Coast and its players to Get Set for 2020.”
Evans reiterated the GC SUNS approach to the submission highlighted the clubs commitment to growing the game and demonstrated it would establish an AFLW team side by side with AFL Queensland.