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Lauren Ahrens

Lauren Ahrens was signed as a priority selection for the SUNS ahead of the 2019 AFLW Draft.

Ahrens is a key defender who, at 182cm relies on her athleticism and reach to win her one-on-one contests. She was born on the Gold Coast and attended Palm Beach Currumbin High School.

Ahrens relocated to Melbourne to study and played in the VFLW for Melbourne Uni, Essendon and St Kilda in her time there. She has moved back to the Gold Coast and played for the SUNS in the 2019 QW Winter Series.

Age: 28
Height: 182cm
Draft History: 2019 Gold Coast Priority Signing
Senior Club: Essendon VFLW
Occupation: Student
Fun fact: Ahrens is often seen sporting a Gold Coast SUNS bucket hat at training

 

Lauren Bella

A SUNS Academy graduate, Bella joined the SUNS after playing three games for the Brisbane Lions in 2019.

Bella spent her junior years representing the SUNS and AFLW Academy, and was also selected in Gold Coast’s 2018 and 2019 QW Winter Series squads.

Bella is a ruck who has great mobility and is able to win her own ball at ground level. She is originally from Sarina in Mackay, where the SUNS have a strong partnership, but moved to the Gold Coast to pursue her football. 

Age: 18
Height: 188cm
Draft History: 2018 AFLW Draft pick No. 45 overall (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Junior Club: Sarina Demons
Senior Club: University of Queensland/Bond University
Occupation: Student
Fun fact: Bella is legally blind and has to wear contacts when she plays football.

Read more about Lauren's Story.

Tiarna Ernst

Tiarna Ernst comes to the SUNS with an AFLW premiership already to her name with the Western Bulldogs. Ernst played in the 2018 Dogs’ premiership and has played all 22 games possible across her three years at the club.

Ernst is a doctor in her life away from football, specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology, and delivering babies and caring for women during pregnancy.

The 31-year-old played as a centre-half-back in her time at the Bulldogs but at 180cm, has been trialled as a key forward in the 2019 QW Winter Series with the SUNS where she has excelled.

Age: 31
Height: 180cm
Draft History: 2016 NAB AFLW Draft pick No. 108 overall (Western Bulldogs)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Western Bulldogs
Senior Club: Bond University
Occupation: Doctor – Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Fun fact: Ernst is a Cairns AFL product, originally from Thursday Island

Tori Groves-Little

SUNS Academy product Tori Groves-Little signed with the SUNS after one year on Brisbane’s list. The Queenslander played two AFLW games for the Lions and has represented the SUNS previously in the 2018 Winter Series. 

In 2018, Groves-Little also became the youngest player to win the QAFLW league’s Best and Fairest award, playing for Coorparoo. Groves-Little is a dynamic midfielder who can also play off half-back and excels with her run and carry.

Age: 19
Height: 167cm
Draft History: 2018 NAB AFLW Draft pick No. 56 overall (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Junior Club: Beenleigh
Senior Club: Coorparoo
Occupation: Indigenous Coordinator – GC SUNS
Fun fact: Growing up Groves-Little was a competitive skipper

Charlotte Hammans

Charlotte Hammans was one of the three players announced as the inaugural AFLW signings for the Gold Coast SUNS.

She is a crafty medium/tall forward with good goal-sense and awareness. Playing for Queensland in the 2018 National Championships, Hammans was the team’s leading goal-kicker booting four goals in five games. She presents well to the football, makes strong leads and uses her bodywork to take marks.

The 18-year-old played two games for the SUNS in the 2019 QW Winter Series. Hammans also played in the State of Origin match for the All Stars after being included in the Under 18 All-Australian squad.

Age: 18
Height: 172cm
Draft History: 2019 Gold Coast Inaugural Signing
Junior Club: Burleigh Bombers
Senior Club: Bond University
Occupation: Student
Fun fact: Charlotte studies a Bachelor Business (Sports Management) at Griffith University

Ellie Hampson

Townsville product Ellie Hampson was one of three players selected as an inaugural AFLW signings for the club. Hampson possesses elite agility allowing her to evade potential tacklers with ease. She is a strong and fierce competitor who also has an accurate kick, often allowing her to rebound off half-back. When she’s not playing in defence, she’s in the midfield racking up the football. 

She is no stranger to second and third efforts and often earns praise from coaches for her work ethic in games. A QW Winter Series player and regular Queensland Under 18 representative, Hampson was named Queensland’s MVP in the 2019 National Championships and was also selected in the All Australian side.

Age: 18
Height: 169cm
Draft History: 2019 Gold Coast Inaugural Signing
Senior Club: Coorparoo/Hermit Park Tigers
Occupation: Student
Fun fact: Hampson was heavily involved in the Townsville flood clean-up in early 2019.

Jasmyn Hewett

Hewett joins the SUNS from the Adelaide Crows after playing seven games in two seasons. An ankle injury sustained in an AFLW trial match ruled her out of the 2019 season, but Hewett is back fully fit for the QW Winter Series.

The 25-year-old is a tall and athletic utility who is a strong contested mark. Originally from South Australia, Hewett moved to Darwin in 2016 and played in the NTFL Womens League where she won the Rising Star award and finished runner-up in the league MVP.

Age: 26
Height: 182cm
Draft History: 2017 AFLW Draft pick No. 16 overall (Adelaide Crows)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Adelaide
Senior Club: St Mary’s/NT Thunder
Occupation: Motor Accident Claims Officer
Fun Fact: Hewett was a big fan of BMX and motorbikes growing up. When she was 11, she fractured her foot in five places after a motorbike crushed it.

Jordann Hickey

Originally drafted by the Melbourne Demons in 2018, Hickey joined the SUNS in the 2019 trade period. Hickey plays as a powerful third forward option who loves the contest and has a knack for finding goals.

The 24-year-old is a product of the NT Thunder women’s team where she finished fourth in the Club Champion award in 2018 and was named Rookie of the Year alongside winning the club’s Community and Media award. 

Age: 25
Height: 174cm
Draft History: 2018 AFLW Draft pick No. 31 overall (Melbourne)/2019 Gold Coast Free Agency Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Melbourne
Senior Club: NT Thunder
Occupation: AFL Game Development Officer
Fun fact: Hickey was born in Alice Springs and her dream place to live is Canada.

   

Kalinda Howarth

Kalinda Howarth joined the SUNS as a priority signing before the 2019 AFLW Draft. The 20-year-old was previously on the Brisbane Lions list for the 2018 AFLW season but was delisted after one year at the club. She represented the SUNS in the 2018 and 2019 Winter Series’.

A Gold Coaster born and bred, Howarth went back to play in the QAFLW for Bond University in 2019. She had a standout season in the blue and gold, kicking 31 goals from 15 games to take out the league’s goalkicking award. A crafty forward with sublime skills, Howarth has great nous around goals and is proficient on both sides of her body.

Age: 20
Height: 169cm
Draft History: 2017 NAB AFLW Draft pick No. 31 overall (Brisbane)/2019 Gold Coast Priority Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Junior Club: Coolangatta
Senior Club: Bond University
Occupation: Deadly Choices Ambassador
Fun fact: Howarth’s favourite player is Buddy Franklin, the reason she selected 23 as her guernsey number.

Leah Kaslar

Kaslar joined the SUNS as an expansion signing after playing three seasons at the Brisbane Lions. Kaslar grew up in Cairns where the SUNS have ties through the club’s talent academies and partnerships before moving to the Gold Coast. She is currently working as an environmental scientist.

The 33-year-old has always demonstrated strong leadership capabilities and had been a part of Brisbane’s leadership group since her first season, including co-captain in 2019. Prior to being drafted, Kaslar was also captain of Coolangatta’s QAFLW side and continues to play her club football on the Gold Coast. Kaslar was named in the AFLW All Australian squad in 2017 and 2018, continuing to be one of the most reliable key position players in the competition.

Age: 34
Height: 174cm
Draft History: 2016 AFLW Draft pick No. 31 overall (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Senior Club: Coolangatta
Occupation: Environmental Scientist
Fun fact: Kaslar is an avid surfer, but didn’t start until her early 20’s

Paige Parker

Parker joined the SUNS after playing one season with the Brisbane Lions at AFLW level. She represented the SUNS in the 2018 and 2019 Winter Series’, winning the Best Emerging Player award at Gold Coast’s Club Champion in 2018. 

Parker has a background in Touch Football, representing Queensland in State of Origin and Australia in the World Cup. The cross-code athlete has strong line-breaking capabilities and a powerful ‘don’t argue’ which she uses to run and carry. Parker played in Coorparoo’s 2019 QAFLW premiership-winning side where she won the medal for best on ground. 

Age: 24
Height: 172cm
Draft History: 2018 NAB AFLW Draft pick No. 8 overall (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Senior Club: Coorparoo
Occupation: Student/Personal Trainer
Fun fact: Parker travelled to Malaysia to represent Australia in the 2019 Touch World Cup.

Emma Pittman

Mackay product Emma Pittman joins the Gold Coast SUNS after two years with the Brisbane Lions. The 165cm rebounding defender played eight AFLW games in her two years since being drafted in 2017. She is currently undergoing rehab on an ACL injury sustained playing for Coorparoo in the QAFLW.

Pittman is no stranger to elite sport, having come from a competitive soccer background. She played for the Brisbane Roar in the 2012-13 W-League as a striker before switching to AFL football. In 2017, Pittman was named in the QWAFL team of the year.

Age: 26 
Height: 165cm
Draft History: 2017 AFLW Draft pick No. 37 overall (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Senior Club: Coorparoo/University of Queensland
Occupation: Café owner/manager
Fun fact: Pittman is part-owner of a café in Brisbane CBD

Sally Riley

Sally Riley came to the SUNS as a free agent ahead of the 2020 AFLW season. The 28-year-old was joint vice-captain of the Adelaide Crows since the side’s inception and played 14 games there over three seasons. She played in Adelaide’s premiership-winning team in 2017.

Riley is a 172cm inside midfielder, but can also play off half-back. She has an exceptional field kick in her arsenal and is hard at the footy. Riley brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the SUNS which will be vital in driving the standards for success

 

Age: 28
Height: 172cm
Draft History: 2016 NAB AFLW Draft pick No. 39 overall (Adelaide)/2019 Gold Coast Free Agency Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Adelaide
Senior Club: Tracy Village/NT Thunder
Occupation: Teacher
Fun fact: Riley has the nickname spud, due to the fact her father is a potato farmer.

Molly Ritson

Molly Ritson was selected by the SUNS as a priority signing ahead of the 2019 AFLW Draft. A 19-year-old Gold Coast local, Ritson is a midfielder who can also play at half-back. She currently plays in the QAFLW for Bond University. 

Ritson was listed by the Brisbane Lions in 2018 but didn’t play due to injury. She grasped her opportunity with the SUNS and played in both the 2018 and 2019 Winter Series’ for Gold Coast. Ritson was also a member of the SUNS’ Summer Academy.

 

Age: 19
Height: 169cm
Draft History: 2017 NAB AFLW Rookie Draft pick No. 14 (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Priority Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Junior Club: Surfers Paradise/Southport
Senior Club: Bond University
Occupation: Boarding House Assistant
Fun fact: Ritson’s nickname is “Rissole”, but she has also been called “Ritz cracker” by AFLW Coach David Lake.

Maddy Roberts

Maddy Roberts joined the SUNS as the club’s first priority selection before the 2019 AFLW Draft. At 26 Roberts is a crafty small forward with great goal sense, playing local football for the Coolangatta Bluebirds.

 

Roberts has played for the SUNS in both the 2018 and 2019 Winter Series’ and was also a member of the club’s AFLW Summer Academy program. In the past, Roberts has represented Queensland at Under 23 level and been a member of the Brisbane Lions’ train-on squad.

 

Age: 27
Height: 162cm
Draft History: 2019 Gold Coast Priority Signing
Senior Club: Coolangatta
Occupation: Dental Nurse
Fun fact: Roberts is a Gold Coast local but has a strong support base in Mackay where her father works.

 

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith was the SUNS’ final priority signing before the AFLW draft. Still a relative newcomer to the game, Smith has only been playing football for two years after first giving the sport a go in high school.

Since then, Smith has quickly shown her aptitude to football, joining the Gold Coast SUNS Academy and earning selection for the Queensland Under 18 team. A naturally gifted athlete, Smith has proven her worth as a key forward, impressing with her overhead marking skills and composure from set shots. She represented the SUNS in both seasons of the Winter Series in the forward line.

 

Age: 19
Height: 180cm
Draft History: 2019 Gold Coast Priority Signing
Senior Club: Bond University
Occupation: Student
Fun fact: Prior to football Smith was an athletics star, majoring in heptathlon and hurdles

Jamie Stanton

Stanton joins the SUNS for her fourth year of AFLW football after previously playing for North Melbourne and Brisbane. A 166cm inside midfielder, Stanton played in two AFLW Grand Finals for Brisbane and finished second in the club’s best and fairest in 2018.

Stanton has developed into one of the competition’s best midfielders in recent years and will provide experience to the club on and off the field. She represented the SUNS in the 2018 and 2019 QW Winter Series and started playing her local football on the Gold Coast for Coolangatta.

 

Age: 23
Height: 166cm
Draft History: 2016 AFLW Draft pick No. 127 overall (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane/North Melbourne
Senior Club: Coolangatta/Wilston Grange/Darebin
Occupation: Teacher
Fun fact: Stanton has a background in soccer and was previously a junior national representative.

Kate Surman

Kate Surman joined the SUNS as a priority signing before the 2019 AFLW Draft. Surman is a diminutive midfielder who loves putting her head over the football and can use her small size to her advantage by evading tacklers.

The 28-year-old has only been playing football for three years, joining her local club on the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, in the QAFLW. She has a background in basketball which she says has translated well to her football. Surman was a member of the SUNS’ Summer Academy where she was able to develop her skills further. She represented the club in the QW Winter Series in 2019 where she won the award for Player of the Winter Series at Gold Coast’s Club Champion.

 

Age: 28
Height: 163cm
Draft History: 2019 Gold Coast Priority Signing
Senior Club: Maroochydore
Occupation: Physiotherapist
Fun fact: Surman goes by the nickname Spud

 

Tayla Thorn

Tayla Thorn joined the SUNS as a priority signing before the 2019 AFLW draft. The 21-year-old was previously a member of the Adelaide Crows 2017 AFLW list and played seven games that year before taking time away from the game. Off the field she works as a development officer where she acts as a mentor for female Indigenous youth in the Northern Territory.

Originally from Darwin, Thorn returned to football with the NT Thunder in its inaugural VFLW campaign. She played two games for the SUNS in the QW Winter Series where she impressed with her ability to intercept and rebound out of defence. Thorn has excellent skills and will be a valued player in 2020 and beyond.

 

Age: 21
Height: 174cm
Draft History: 2016 NAB AFLW Draft pick No. 90 overall (Adelaide)/2019 Gold Coast Priority Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Adelaide
Senior Club: St Mary’s/NT Thunder
Occupation: Development Officer
Fun fact: Thorn is one of three Northern Territory-based players for the Gold Coast.

Sam Virgo

Sam Virgo comes to the SUNS after playing 15 games in two seasons for the Brisbane Lions. An ACL injury sustained in the 2017 QWAFL Grand Final ruled Virgo out for the entire 2018 AFLW season, but the 32-year-old was still invaluable to the Lions as team manager in that time.

On the field Virgo tends to play as a general defender but was trialled in a forward role during the 2019 QW Winter Series with success. Virgo brings a raft of experience and leadership to the club and has desires to develop her coaching in the future.

 

Age: 32
Height: 166cm
Draft History: 2016 NAB AFLW Draft pick No. 66 overall (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Senior Club: Yeronga
Occupation: Operations Manager
Fun fact: Virgo has her own range of clothing and has aspirations to one day coach female football.

Kitara Whap-Farrar

Whap-Farrar was one of the three inaugural AFLW signings for the club. The 18-year-old is an explosive player who is extremely versatile and typically looks to run and carry. She is a fantastic kick of the football and can easily use her speed to get away from stoppages and drive the ball forward.

Farrar played 12 games for South Cairns in the AFL Cairns Women’s league in 2018, taking out the Jo Butland Medal for league Best & Fairest for the second year running. She played for the SUNS in the 2018 and 2019 Winter Series’ and has been a member of the Queensland Under 18 representative side over the last three years, being named All Australian on all three occasions.

 

Age: 18
Height: 177cm
Draft History: 2019 Gold Coast Inaugural Signing
Junior Club: Pyramid Powers
Senior Club: South Cairns Cutters/Bond University
Occupation: AFLQ trainee
Fun fact: When Whap-Farrar relocated to the Gold Coast from Cairns, she moved in and lived with Jarrod Harbrow and his family.

Jacqui Yorston

Inside midfielder Jacqui Yorston joins the SUNS after a year on Brisbane’s list. Yorston played four matches in her debut AFLW season and earnt an AFLW Rising Star nomination in the process.

Yorston has come through the elite football pathways, representing Queensland in the NAB AFLW Under 18 Championships where she was named in the All Australian squad. She also has a background in netball where she was also a state representative.

 

Age: 18
Height: 165cm
Draft History: 2018 post-draft rookie compensation selection (Brisbane Lions)/2019 Gold Coast Expansion Signing
Previous AFLW Club: Brisbane
Junior Club: Kedron Lions
Senior Club: Yeronga
Occupation: GC SUNS Commercial Administration Assistant
Fun fact: Yorston is one of six children, the only girl.