Not only was Sarah Perkins' round one performance a feel-good story for the competition, she was a ray of sunshine for Gold Coast's developing forward line.
Now at her third club following stints with Adelaide and Melbourne, the powerful Perkins kicked two goals in her SUNS debut and will prepare for Saturday's match against Collingwood full of confidence.
Her output was more than coach David Lake could have asked for from anyone wearing red and yellow.
While her two goals – one from a pack mark on the quarter-time siren and another from a set play involving Leah Kaslar – were eye-catching, it was Perkins' workrate up the field that really turned heads.
The 27-year-old gathered 11 disposals and at times was a nice link between the midfield and forward line, able to use her exquisite kicking off both sides to propel the SUNS inside 50.
Perkins said not only had moving to the Gold Coast been a great stimulus mentally, but an absence of games following the AFLW season had actually been a blessing.
"It was 315 days since the last one and it just so happened I was on the other team (Melbourne) and in different colours. It was really good fun and it probably tells with the smile on my face," she said.
"I didn't have to play too much footy in the off-season and I got to run every second day."
"I haven't had to get up to play games or recover from a game and then run out the next week.
"I've been able to train consistently, where seasons gone by you'd go back and play footy and you only get to train twice a week and then you're getting ready for a game.
"It's just the consistency with my training."
Perkins has smashed her running personal bests in the pre-season and said Lake had given her a license to roam outside the forward 50.
She was an integral part of the SUNS kicking the highest score in their short history in the loss to the Demons.
"Mentally it's been refreshing," she said of the change.
"Being on the coast there's not too much talk about footy unless it's the SUNS.
"You've got other things to do outside of footy up here and you don't have to talk about it too much.
"Kindy (Kalinda Howarth) and I have been working on our connection at training and we've been working with the other forwards as well … hopefully we can just keep improving as a group."