Three more Gold Coast SUNS players will earn their AFLW debut in Saturday’s Round 1 clash against Carlton at Ikon Park.
Southport Sharks and SUNS Academy product Darcie Davies, Irish Gaelic football convert Niamh McLaughlin and Bond University recruit Meara Girvan will all run out in the red and gold for the first time on Saturday afternoon.
Touted as one of the best young talents in the country, Davies is a versatile key position player who has previously represented Queensland and the AFLW Academy. She is also the young sister of SUNS teammate Giselle Davies & GWS Giants youngster Fleur Davies.
Irishwoman McLaughlin will become a tri-code athlete on Saturday. She previously captained her county Donegal in Gaelic football and was named as the GAA Ladies Footballer of the Year in 2022 having also previously played soccer for English giants Newcastle and Sunderland.
Girvan was drafted to the SUNS with Pick 10 in the 2023 Supplementary Draft from Bond University. The South Australian defender has an elite netball background and is renowned for her 1-on-1 contested work and ability to the read the play.
The trio join Mackay junior Alana Gee as SUNS AFLW debutants in Round 1.
GC SUNS AFLW Head Coach Cameron Joyce is thrilled to see three off-season additions earning their AFLW debuts.
“These three, alongside Alana, have earned their right to debut this weekend and we’re thrilled to give them the opportunity,” Joyce said.
“Niamh has made a massive impact. She’s improving by the day at the minute and she provides great speed, run and carry. We’ve been really pleased how she’s adjusted to the game which is exciting for this year and beyond.
“Meara has been fantastic throughout pre-season. She provides a calm, collected presence in defence, she’s a smart user of the ball and reads the play very well.
“Darcie is another product of our SUNS Academy that earns the opportunity to represent her local club in the AFLW. She’s incredibly versatile and has the ability to play in various positions right across the ground which is a great tool for us to have this season and for seasons to come.”
The SUNS will name its full side to face Carlton on Thursday evening.