“The SUNS select… Kiara Bischa.”

It’s still a moment that’s sinking in for the 18-year-old SUNS Academy graduate who on Monday night fulfilled a childhood dream of joining the Gold Coast SUNS.

A Gold Coaster through and through who’s supported the club since its infancy and has been an Academy member since she was 12 years old, Bischa says she’s still coming to terms following Monday night’s AFLW Draft.

“It’s pretty surreal. I’ve followed the club since I was four years old so to come all the way through the Academy and to make the AFLW program… it’s still sinking in,” she said.

Her name was called as she was sitting alongside teammates and friends at the Burleigh Sports Club, directly next to close friends and fellow Burleigh Bombers junior Sienna McMullen who was selected a pick later.

“To have all my closest friends and family, it was such an amazing moment. We watched the draft at the Burleigh Sports Club and it was just the perfect place to have it having played junior footy there,” Bishca continued.

“Staying here on the beautiful coast, getting to represent the Gold Coast… I just can’t wait.

“I started in the Academy when I was 12. The support they’ve provided throughout the years has been amazing, it’s really set me up to have this opportunity.”

Bischa’s elevation into the SUNS AFLW squad comes on the back of a stellar 2023 in which she starred in defence for numerous sides including Bond University’s QAFLW Premiership-winning side, the Academy and Queensland.

She was one of six SUNS talents named as All-Australian following the National Championships and was later named as the SUNS Academy Female Player of the Year.

No stranger to the club’s AFLW program having worked closely with Academy Head Coach and AFLW Assistant Coach Sam Iles, there’ll also be a few familiar faces on the field alongside her next season.

“I’ve trained with the group quite a few times. Sam has been wonderful helping us integrate with the AFLW group which gave us great opportunities to see how they set-up and how they work,” Bischa continued.

“I would have to say I look up to Meara Girvan. I’ve played with her at Bond University and watching her get drafted earlier this year was amazing.”

Bischa was one of five draftees selected by the SUNS on Monday night, completing its 30-player squad for 2024.