Gold Coast joins AFLW licence race on bid submission day

The Gold Coast Suns have announced they have officially made a submission for an AFLW licence, hoping to join the competition as early as 2019.

The submission, which is heavily focused around community, talent and the Suns’ $22 million facilities, comes after the club pulled out of the race just one year ago.

Gold Coast hopes to have an AFLW team for 2019. Image: Gold Coast Suns

In March of 2016, the Suns conceded they were not yet ready to expand, and their resources should remain focused on developing in the region.

Now, Gold Coast CEO Mark Evans believes the club is well positioned to host an AFLW team, and the community will support the team.

“The talented girls of Queensland deserve another AFL Women’s team and the Gold Coast Suns, the Gold Coast community and North Queensland are ready to get behind our girls,” Evans said.

An AFLW license awarded to the Suns will deepen our links within these communities and to give our girls the opportunity to truly represent their families, communities and their already strong talent pathways.

“We want to be the best club in the country at integrating our male and female academies and pathways, all the way up to our elite AFL teams.”

The Suns announced their submission on the final day for AFLW licence bids to be lodged, with a deadline of 4:30pm on Friday being the cutoff.

Gold Coast joins seven other AFL clubs bidding for a women’s team after Essendon joined the race one week ago.

Sydney will not submit a bid, and it’s expect Port Adelaide will also pass up the opportunity.

Unfortunately for the Suns, their chances of having a team for 2019 are rather slim.

The league will expand by either two or four teams, which is expected to be announced in late July, and five clubs – St Kilda, Geelong, Richmond, North Melbourne and West Coast – already have provisional licences.

Hawthorn and Essendon – the two other teams without provisional licences who will submit bids – are also more appealing candidates, touting large membership numbers.

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