Gold Coast’s Head of Women’s Football Fiona McLarty says anticipation levels are building after the 2020 NAB AFLW fixture was announced on Tuesday.
The SUNS will play eight games in its inaugural AFLW season; four at home and four away.
Of the home games, two will be at Metricon Stadium with one each at Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay and Fankhauser Reserve at Southport Sharks.
Speaking on ABC Gold Coast on Tuesday afternoon, McLarty said it was pleasing to tick off another step on the journey to 2020.
“We’re really excited,” McLarty said.
“As a team and the players, we all know what to work towards across the pre-season and where it’s all going to start.
“To have those dates locked in place is so exciting and to have our four home games as well is something we can really work towards in getting all of our supporters out to those games to cheer us on.”
The SUNS will begin its 2020 campaign with a match on the road against GWS at Blacktown International Sportspark.
McLarty said it would give the team a good chance to get away, build relationships and hopefully kick the season off with a win.
“Our coach David Lake actually talks about how he thinks sometimes the female players play better when they’re away because the pressures of work and family and everything else is kind of removed when you’re away,” she said.
“We did a bit of travel this year during our winter program to prepare for going away next year too.
“As much as we’d like to start at home, we’re happy to take on the Giants in Round 1 (at Blacktown).”
The club will then have back-to-back home games at Metricon Stadium, against Richmond in Round 2 followed by the AFLW QClash against the Brisbane Lions in Round 3.
It will be the first chance Gold Coast fans will have to see their team in action and McLarty was confident in drawing strong home crowds to the historic matches.
“The opportunity for us to play there (at Metricon) and to see what sort of crowd we’re going to get is really exciting,” she said.
“Particularly in Round 3 when we play the Brisbane Lions, we’re already creating a really strong rivalry on-field.
“That local derby and us getting to host it at Metricon in our first year is just so exciting and we can’t wait to see how many people we actually get to turn out and support for that game.
“(That game) is a double header with the men’s pre-season Marsh Community Series match so there’s an opportunity to come and see both Gold Coast SUNS teams and for us to build the club atmosphere as well.”
The AFLW team is set to commence pre-season training in mid-November, with Gold Coast’s 2020 NAB AFLW season beginning on Saturday February 8.
2020 Gold Coast SUNS AFLW Fixture:
Round 1 - Greater Western Sydney v Gold Coast SUNS
Blacktown International Sportspark - Saturday Feb 8, 1:10pm
Round 2 – Gold Coast SUNS v Richmond
Metricon Stadium – Saturday Feb 15, 4:10pm
Round 3 – Gold Coast SUNS v Brisbane
Metricon Stadium – Saturday Feb 22, 4:10pm
Round 4 – North Melbourne v Gold Coast SUNS
Arden Street Oval – Saturday Feb 29, 5:10pm
Round 5 – Gold Coast SUNS v Geelong
Great Barrier Reef Arena – Friday Mar 6, 6:10pm
Round 6 – West Coast v Gold Coast SUNS
Mineral Resources Park - Sunday Mar 15, 2:10pm
Round 7 – Gold Coast SUNS v Adelaide
Fankhauser Reserve – Sunday Mar 22, 1:10pm
Round 8 – Melbourne v Gold Coast SUNS
Casey Fields – Sunday Mar 29, 4:10pm