Gold Coast SUNS AFLW coach Cameron Joyce, is ready for his third season with the reigns as his side tackles Carlton in their season opener this Saturday afternoon.

A long off-season has allowed the SUNS to be put through a big pre-season in an attempt to continue improving individually and collectively.

“Our preseason has been a long road, we've had a massive gap in between last season and this season, eight or nine months,” Joyce said.

“We've been able to step our way through it… probably three or four different phases throughout that period to really ramp up the fitness level.” 

As an AFLW expansion team, Joyce is aware of the advantages that some of the longer-established teams hold.

“We understand as a club, we're four seasons in going into our fifth, others are going into their eighth so there's obviously advantages that they would have by having three years on us,” Joyce said.

“We understand we've got to catch up quickly and that was certainly a focus in pre-season.”

Joyce said that ensuring his side can mix it with the best teams was a big focus during the SUNS pre-season.

“One of the things we have got to get better at is competing against the best teams in the competition… so all our training and all our focuses have been around that,” Joyce mentions.

“We want to play a bit faster in terms of our game style and we want to be able to score better. 

“All those sort of things are in progress, to try and compete against the best teams.”

The SUNS AFLW side take on Carlton on Saturday at Ikon Park with the first bounce at 1.05pm. Catch all the action LIVE on Fox Footy and Kayo from 1pm.