Sun embarking on third start-up club in four years

IF ANYONE knows about success at expansion clubs, it's Gold Coast midfielder Jamie Stanton.

Although it's just the fourth season of the NAB AFL Women's competition, Stanton is about to embark on her third go at a start-up club.

She is the only player to do so.

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The 24-year-old played for Brisbane in 2017 and 2018, headed south to fledgling North Melbourne in 2019 and is now back in her home city to play in Gold Coast's inaugural 2020 campaign.

Speaking to womens.afl, Stanton said she had learnt plenty from her previous two stops that should benefit the Suns.

"What Brisbane did really well and what North did really well, I was able to come here and provide that information to the club and hopefully implement into our program," Stanton said.

"It allowed us to have a better base."

The inside midfielder only knows winning. Brisbane made the Grand Final in each of her first two seasons and the Kangaroos were unlucky to miss the finals with a 5-2 record in the heavily-stacked Conference A last season.

Jamie Stanton in action for North Melbourne. Picture: AFL Photos

Despite the success, coming back to her home city was a no-brainer for Stanton.

Her parents live on the Gold Coast, she is teaching at Southport State High School, which has an Australian Rules excellence program, and she loves the beach lifestyle.

One other factor also loomed large – head coach David Lake, who she previously worked with in his role as an assistant to Craig Starcevich at the Lions.

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"He was a big driving factor for coming home," she said.

"Even when I was at North I still had contact with him as a personal mentor, before he was named as the Suns' coach.

"That helped the process."

In Stanton, Gold Coast has a durable hard-nosed inside midfielder that has not missed a game in three seasons and finished second in the Lions' best and fairest in 2018.

Aside from Lake, there's plenty of familiarity at the new club, with the Suns signing nine players that have played in Brisbane colours.

Stanton said those already-formed connections had helped fast-track the synergy.

But what can the AFLW public expect from this expansion team?

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Stanton says an up-tempo game is the plan.

"I've played in two losing Grand Finals and I'm chomping at the bit to get to a third," she said.

"I haven't been in an unsuccessful team, so I don't want to start now."