She’s only been a SUN for a matter of months, but the intrigue of life on the Gold Coast has long been engrained in off-season AFLW recruit Katie Lynch.

The Season Seven All-Australian traded red, blue and white from red, blue and gold, joining from the Western Bulldogs following the 2023 season, signing a long-term deal which will see her remain a SUN until the end of 2027.

Lynch, who made her AFLW debut for Collingwood in 2019, says the desire to one day be a SUN dates back to her teenage years. 

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I was pretty young. The lifestyle has always appealed to me, but even then, the SUNS as a club has always had a great feel about it for me,” Lynch told media on Tuesday morning.

“I’ve always watched them from afar and they’ve almost been like a third second-team for me, so it’s pretty cool to be running around in the colours now.”

Under Cameron Joyce, the SUNS have recorded three consecutive seasons of on-field improvement, most recently returning to the AFLW Finals for the first time since 2020 last season.

Lynch says the lure of continuing to make history on the Gold Coast is not lost on her new teammates.

“It’s just a really nice feeling to settle in here, and settle in on the coast as well. There’s a great group of players who have locked in some long-term deals so I’m excited to be spending the next four years with them,” Lynch added.

“Since I came in, there’s just a different kind of energy. I think everyone’s excited about what this club can be given its short history… everyone here can be history makers for the club and everyone bottles that up into its own little purpose.”

The 24-year-old adds further experience to a rapidly developing SUNS backline, which also features fellow off-season recruit and now housemate Charlotte Wilson, who is also locked in beyond the upcoming AFLW season.

The duo has 72 games of AFLW experience between them and are looking to make a difference in their new setup.

“We spend a lot of time together at home talking about how we can take the group forward. There’s a lot of stuff that happens offline for us, which is nice then when you come in here to the club and bounce off each other,” Lynch continued.

“We’re both well aware of the unique role we play in that.”

The SUNS’ AFLW season gets underway at People First Stadium in an opening round clash against St Kilda on Saturday, August 31.