Getting the most out of her prior experience to unite her new defensive unit is top of the list on Katie Lynch’s priorities for 2024.

The All-Australian key defender joined the SUNS in the 11th hour of the 2023 AFLW Trade Period, landing at the SUNS as one of the many cogs in an 11-team mega trade.

When the opportunity arose to make the move north to the Gold Coast, it was a simple option for the native Victorian.

“In a holistic sense, I think the Gold Coast SUNS is a great place to be,” Lynch told SUNS Media.

“I hear great things about the AFLW program and any conversation I had whether it be with Joycey (Head Coach Cameron Joyce), Fi (Head of Women’s Football Fiona Sessarago) or any of the players, I couldn’t really see why it wouldn’t be a good move for me.”

“Looking at this season, we played our second final and that’s so exciting. Making it back there is the first goal.”

Drawing on six years of experience in the AFLW will be key for the 23-year-old in her mission to continue developing the SUNS defensive structure.

“Whilst I have that experience in my back pocket, slotting into this group is a priority for me,” Lynch added.

“Where I’m at with my career I have a lot of improvement in me and extracting that potential out of the group around me will be important.

“I’m just really looking forward to creating a really united backline if I slot in there and being a part of helping this team continue to build.

“Off-field, hopefully I can add a bit of leadership experience as well.”

A number of familiar faces will welcome Lynch at the doors of the Austworld Centre who’s no stranger to taking the field at Heritage Bank Stadium.

“The last time I played with one of my good mates Maddy Brancatisano was out here (at Heritage Bank Stadium) so that’ll be good to be back together up here. I’ve played with both her and Jordan Membrey as well back at Collingwood.”

Lynch is one of eight fresh faces who will call the SUNS home in 2024 alongside youngsters Ella Smith and Charlotte Wilson, both of whom joined during the AFLW Trade Period. They join draftee quintet Keely Fullerton, Taya Oliver, Kiara Bischa, Sienna McMullen and Annabel Kievit.