'It's going to be challenging': Why this pre-season will be so different for a veteran Sun

SAM VIRGO has seen just about everything in women's football, but the Gold Coast veteran is about to embark on a pre-season like no other she has experienced before. 

On Monday night she will be part of history, running out with her Suns teammates to complete the fledgling club's first official training session. 

But that's not what makes this pre-season so different. 

Virgo was part of Brisbane's inaugural campaign late in 2016, a member of the leadership group that took the Lions to the Grand Final four months later. 

She was a Virgin Australia AFLW All-Australian that season. 

So much has changed for the 32-year-old in the following three years, though. 

She overcame a ruptured ACL in 2018, but even more notably is now a mother to 13-month-old Harriet.

Virgo went through last season caring for her then newborn with partner Jenna, but the twist heading into 2020 is that she'll commute from her Brisbane home to Gold Coast to complete her duties with the Suns.

Sam Virgo suffered a ruptured ACL in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

"It's going to be challenging," Virgo said ahead of Gold Coast's first training session.

"I felt like the previous pre-seasons were challenging without that commitment in our lives, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

"It's just another thing to juggle and plan for. I've just got to be organised." 

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It means carpooling with a couple of teammates that live in Brisbane and with a 60-minute drive in each direction, not returning home until after 9pm on training nights.

Virgo said while the decision to leave the Lions was tough, she enjoyed the change. 

Gold Coast coach David Lake – formerly an assistant to Craig Starcevich at Brisbane – played a big role in convincing the clever half-back it would be a good move.

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"There were lots of things to consider," Virgo said.

"'Lakey' is a personal mentor of mine so it was a great opportunity to be coached by him. 

"Lakey was a driving force, he created a picture of what it might look like to play for Gold Coast and he knows me pretty well so that was something that really appealed to me. 

"It's come to fruition so far and I'm looking forward to the rest of it unfolding."