Taking on her first leadership role and seeing the improvements made across the list has Claudia Whitfort excited for the SUNS upcoming AFLW campaign.

The SUNS are currently in the middle of pre-season preparations for its fifth AFLW season in what will be Whitfort’s third on the Gold Coast.

The explosive midfielder, who finished on the podium in the Season Seven Club Champion race, says the improvements are on display for all to see in pre-season already with practice matches not too far away on the calendar.

“We’re knackered, because we’ve been training at such a high intensity,” Whitfort said.

“We’ve improved so much and we’ll be playing against other teams before too long so I’m really excited to see how we go against them.”

Whitfort forms part of a revamped four-person leadership group which includes a fellow newcomer in vice-captain Jac Dupuy.

It’s the first official leadership position for the 23-year-old who’s excited about the opportunity.

“It’s my first leadership role so I’m really excited to learn and grow in that space and develop myself as a player as well. Everyone in our leadership group, they all bring different aspects,” she added.


The SUNS have recorded consecutive seasons boasting record win tallies, finishing just outside finals positions in ninth in Season Seven, the competition’s first 18-team edition.

They’ll head into the 2023 campaign with confidence and the belief that this squad can match it with the AFLW’s best sides.

“Believing in ourselves and believing we can match it with the best teams will be a game changer for us this year.”