Young midfielder Ella Smith is officially a Gold Coast SUNS player following a three-team trade involving the Brisbane Lions and Collingwood.

Smith arrives at the SUNS from the Lions in a deal which also sees Gold Coast gain pick 59 while small forward Kalinda Howarth will make the move to Collingwood.

Smith is an athletic inside midfielder who earned the opportunity to debut in the AFLW earlier in 2023. She boasts an elite running capacity and is renowned for her work around the contest.

A talented dual-sport athlete, the 19-year-old is a former National Champion and Australian U19 team rower and also earned selection in the NAB AFLW Academy and Queensland Under 18 squads.

“It’s fantastic to be welcoming another up-and-coming Queensland talent to our squad,” GC SUNS Head of Women’s Football Fiona Sessarago said.

“Ella already boasts an extremely impressive sporting resume and we’re excited to see the player she becomes here at the SUNS.”

The trade also sees foundation player Howarth depart the club following 35 games in the red and gold.

“Kalinda will always be remembered as one of our inaugural players and our first ever All-Australian selection. She’s been a prominent member of our program over the last five years and we wish her all the best in both her continued recovery from injury, and this next opportunity,” Sessarago added.

The SUNS have strengthened its draft hand so far during the AFLW Trade Period, adding picks 27 and 59 to its suite of selections. The SUNS currently hold picks 14, 27, 54, 59 and 72.

The AFLW Trade Period concludes at 1pm AEST on Thursday, December 14.

Trade Summary:
SUNS receive: Ella Smith, Pick 59
SUNS send: Kalinda Howarth