After six years in Melbourne, the time was right for Jordan Membrey to head home.
The versatile key position player has been a regular in the AFLW system since the competition's inception, and in signing with Gold Coast for the upcoming season, will be at her third club.
Membrey grew up north of the Tweed River and was a member of the Brisbane team that made the inaugural Grand Final in 2017, before being delisted.
She wasn't ready to give up though, and after playing for the SUNS in a Winter Series organised against the Lions to prepare for their eventual introduction to the national competition two years later, headed to Melbourne.
From there it was a stint with Collingwood, then Hawthorn's VFLW team and back to the Magpies for 23 games over the past five seasons.
And then the door opened for the 27-year-old to return home, the Gold Coast.
"It's so nice to be back with my family, my sister is here … and just to see the growth in female footy here as well has been great," Membrey told womens.afl.
"There was an opportunity to come back earlier, but I just don't think I was at a point where I was comfortable to be home.
"Now I've ticked off a few things personally and career-wise, I'm in a good head space and can come back here and thrive.”
I’m excited. I want to add value to this club. I love this club."
Membrey has some connections with the SUNS. She played under current head of women's football Fiona Sessarago, who coached her a decade ago in under-17 representative teams.
In turn, Membrey has coached current teammates Wallis Randell and Lucy Single when they were under-age players coming through on the Coast.
She said personally and professionally it was the ideal time to head home after learning so much during her time in Melbourne. Returning any earlier could have been a mistake, she said.
"Off-field I needed to do some more growing … I was battling a bit of depression and anxiety. I wasn't ready for a big move," Membrey said.
"I wouldn't have been a benefit to anyone, including myself. Too much change could alter those things emotionally.
"Now I've really invested in that development and growth and now I want to add to this club.
"I always saw myself coming back here at some stage to settle down and find a career outside footy.
"I think there's some really good opportunities for me to coach up here too. I wanted to come back and get amongst it."
That coaching is a real passion. Membrey is a teacher at Palm Beach Currumbin State High School and says she loves seeing the game's growth in south-east Queensland.
"When I started playing on the Gold Coast there was a three-team comp in the under-15s," she said.
"You'd play one team, then the other, then have a bye.
"To see the full-blown competitions here now is unbelievable and a real credit to the AFLW and the path it has shaped."
Membrey was part of that path, and now with her ability to play in the forward line, where she's kicked 14 goals from 28 games, or in defence, she's ready to help the Suns.
Whether that's on-field, or off it with her leadership, she's ready.
"We're very young up here, but I can't wait for the next couple of years as these young kids grow together and develop," she said.
"The Gold Coast are going to be a fighting force.
"I want us to be a destination club."