Joint GC SUNS AFLW games record holder Lauren Bella has a simple message ahead of her 50th game on Saturday night - get to Heritage Bank Stadium.
Bella will become the third player to surpass 50 career games in Saturday night’s do-or-die Elimination Final against the Swans.
It’s the first time Gold Coast has hosted an AFLW final and marks just the second time the club has qualified for the post-season action and Bella wants to see as much red and gold in the stands as possible.
“It’s been a while since we’ve played finals and it’s the first time we’ve ever played a final here at home. We’re a team that thrives on having that support and we really get up and about when there’s plenty of SUNS fans cheering us on,” Bella said.
“We’re ready to bring our A game this weekend and we want as many people to be part of that as possible.”
As one of just a handful of inaugural SUNS remaining on the list, Saturday night has an extra special element to it for the Sarina product as she joins teammates Jamie Stanton and Alison Drennan in the 50-gamer club.
Stanton, Bella, Lauren Ahrens and Kalinda Howarth are the only four SUNS who played in that 2020 final against Fremantle.
“It’s obviously really exciting and a little bit strange for me to think about (reaching 50 games),” Bella said.
“It feels like it’s been a long journey for me, but I’m just really excited to get out there doing what I do each week with my teammates.”
Finals footy extends what’s already been a big fortnight for the 23-year-old having played a key role in the SUNS crucial victory against the Bombers in her hometown last weekend.
Attention has quickly turned to tackling the Swans on Saturday night with the two sides having only met once previously.
“For me, being able to play in front of my home crowd was really nice. To be able to show the win with my teammates was even more special,” Bella added.
“We played our own brand of footy last weekend and we’re looking to do the same again on Saturday.”
Gates at Heritage Bank Stadium open at 5.15pm on Saturday ahead of a 6.15pm first bounce.