The Gold Coast SUNS are excited to announce Janet Baird will be making her AFLW debut for the SUNS in Round 3.
The 21-year-old was drafted by the SUNS in October with pick 54 in the 2020 NAB AFLW Draft out of the Northern Territory.
“I’m feeling pumped. I’ve been dreaming about this the entire pre-season so it’s awesome that I get a game,” Baird said.
“Our line coach came and grabbed me and pulled me into a room with Lakey (AFLW Senior Coach David Lake) and Fiona (McLarty) so I was thinking it was either going to be good news or bad news.
“They said they wanted me to play this weekend and I was stoked, I was speechless.”
Baird grew up in Darwin where she played for local club Palmerston Magpies in the NTFL Women’s Premier League.
In 2019 she became the youngest player to win the league’s Best and Fairest after also winning the Rising Star award the year prior.
Lake said Baird had earnt her opportunity at AFLW level with strong form in recent weeks.
“It’s exciting that Janet gets her chance this week after all the hard work she’s put in over the last few years,” he said.
“She’s been an emergency the last couple of weeks which has seen her get a glimpse of what it’s like on gameday and we’re confident she’ll be able to make an impact on Saturday.
“She brings clever skills to the table and will be able to help us create some scoring opportunities in our forward half.”
Baird becomes the sixth SUN to make her AFLW debut this season after Bess Keaney, Annise Bradfield, Lucy Single, Daisy D’Arcy and Maddi Levi.
The SUNS take on the GWS Giants in Round 3 at Blacktown International Sportspark. First bounce is at 2:10pm AEST.
The full team will be announced Friday 4.30pm AEST.