The Gold Coast SUNS have secured the services of exciting Northern Territory footballer Janet Baird for the 2021 AFLW season.

Baird was selected by the SUNS with pick 54 in the 2020 NAB AFLW Draft and becomes the  fifth NT-based player to join the club.

The 20-year-old missed out in last year’s AFLW draft, but earnt the opportunity to join the SUNS as a train-on player for the 2020 season where she impressed in her time with the club.

Baird most recently played in the NT All-Stars match last week where she was one of the most influential on the ground, kicking a goal in the victory.

The 2018 national NAB AFLW Academy member is a versatile half-back flanker who can also be used in the midfield or up forward.

Her classy ball use could see her used as a rebounding defender or damaging forward, and she also possesses a potent burst of speed to accelerate out of stoppages.

Despite standing at 167cm, Baird is also an exceptional intercept marker to go with her outside run.

Playing for the Palmerston Magpies in the NTFL Women’s Premier League, Baird played 14 matches in the most recent season, being named in the best on nine occasions.

She has been playing football since she was 13 and became the youngest player to win the NTFL Women’s Best and Fairest award in 2019, after also winning the Rising Star award the year prior.

In 2019 Baird also played for the NT Thunder in the VFLW competition, developing her skills further and eventually finishing fifth in the ThunderW Club Champion.

Baird has the skills to impact at AFLW level and will be a valuable asset to the SUNS’ defensive and midfield stocks in 2021.