SUNS midfielder Ellie Hampson is thrilled to have nine new teammates heading into the 2021 AFLW season, but there’s one player she already has a special connection with. 

Originally hailing from Townsville, Hampson was elated to hear fellow Townsville and SUNS Academy product Daisy D’Arcy had earnt a place on Gold Coast’s list at the 2020 NAB AFLW Draft.

The pair have shared many memories together, including training in the SUNS Academy and playing for the same local club Hermit Park.

“We go way back,” Hampson said of her relationship with D’Arcy.

“I’m really close with Daisy and I’m just so happy for her to be here.

“She’s been my little shadow coming past the year behind.

“She’s come through the same way I have, just a year later.”

Both players have an interesting backstory.

The pair started their sporting escapades in soccer – the sport Hampson represented Queensland in, before realising their talents were equally suited to AFL football.

It doesn’t stop there for D’Arcy who also has an extensive sporting CV in rugby sevens, and cricket as well.

“We trained a bit in the Academy but we both came originally from soccer and oztag, we did that together,” Hampson said.

“We moved over to AFL pretty much together - we’ve been training for years in other sports and then we both transitioned around the same time.

“She’s such a good kid and works so hard so I’m just so happy to have another Townsville prospect up here.”

The AFLW players have been back into pre-season training for two weeks, and on Monday launched their Membership Shout-Out campaign.

Competing in their pre-season training teams, the players will have a battle amongst themselves to see who can recruit the most new AFLW members for the 2021 season, and Hampson considers herself a frontrunner in the race.

“We’ve just got a little bit of a competition going on to try to get the most memberships signed up,” she said.

“We had great support last year and we’re trying to build on that.

“The girls are really trying hard to get them up.”