Gold Coast SUNS AFLW stars are eager to start their pre-season with a strong performance against the Sydney Swans on Saturday morning at Heritage Bank Stadium.

New SUN Maddy Brancatisano is looking forward to running out against an opposition after an intensive pre-season.

“We’re really excited… It’s been a big build up all pre-season but to finally play against an opposition this weekend is really exciting,” she said.

“We have had some really good hit outs against each other, but nothing compares to an opposition.

“We are excited to put everything into practice, what we’ve been working on and to see how we go against a pretty good side (Sydney).”

Brancatisano will run out as a SUN for the first time after stints at Melbourne and Richmond and says that the whole group has made it easy to fit in and emphasised her love for the players.

“I have absolutely loved it, it’s such a good group to come into,” she said.

“They make it really easy to fit in and I work really well with everyone.

“I couldn’t ask for a better group, they are like family to me."

Moving clubs can be challenging, however Brancatisano says that her teammates have been invaluable during the transition and pre-season.

“I have been going forward, Stanno (Jamie Stanton) has been helping me out a lot, Dupes (Jac Dupuy) and Tara (Bohanna) as well,” she listed.

Meanwhile, Wallis Randell will run out as a SUN for her fourth season and loves what she has already seen from the playing group.

“All the girls are gelling well together, and we are excited for this weekend,” she said.

The Bond University product says that she endeavours to lead and feels comfortable taking on added responsibilities.

“I really want to be a leader within our backline,” Randell said.

“There is more of an expectation now and I really love that.

“Our group thrives in that environment.”

Randell says that back six compatriot Daisy D’Arcy has been instrumental in her development as a player.

“Daisy is really good to look to. We came in the same year and have had the growth together,” she said.

Whilst finals is always the goal, Randell knows that pre-season is just the start of the hard work required to get there.

“We are really striving to make finals this year and that’s something that we are really pushing towards. The way we have been training is really progressing to that,” she stated.

The Gold Coast SUNS AFLW team will host the Swans on Saturday August 12 in a match simulation prior to the official practice match which will be held against Brisbane the following week.