Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

SUNS To Return To Mackay As Bella Locks In Long-Term Contract

Gold Coast SUNS AFLW games record holder Lauren Bella is the latest to commit her future to the club, inking a long-term contract extension.

The SUNS Academy product and one of two remaining foundation players on the club’s AFLW list will remain in the red, gold and blue until at least the end of the 2027 AFLW season.

Her extension coincides with this morning’s confirmation that the SUNS will be returning to Mackay for a fourth consecutive AFLW season, hosting Carlton at Great Barrier Reef Arena on Sunday, September 8 (1.05pm first bounce).

The match will be the fifth AFLW fixture the SUNS have hosted in Mackay since 2020.

“As one of our foundation AFLW players, who came through our Academy program and our pathways in Mackay, it’s fantastic for to see Lauren extend her contract until 2027,” GC SUNS Head of Women’s Football Sessarago said.

“We’ve seen Lauren develop as not only one of the AFLW’s finest players but a really important member of our playing group off the field as well. At just 23 years old, she’s experienced beyond her years and we’re excited to see her continue to grow here at the SUNS.

“As one of three players on our list from the Mackay region, I’m sure Lauren is as thrilled as we are to be returning to Mackay for a fourth consecutive season to play Carlton in September.”

Bella is yet to miss a single game in the SUNS’ AFLW history and is on the verge of becoming the first female player to play 50 games for the club. She currently sits on 47 SUNS matches across five seasons, in addition to three games for the Brisbane Lions.

The deal will take her tenure on the Gold Coast to nine seasons by its conclusion.

The 23-year-old is one of three players on the SUNS list hailing from the Mackay region, alongside Alana Gee and Wallis Randell, having played her junior football for the Sarina Demons.

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson congratulated Bella and is thrilled to welcome the SUNS back to the region in September.

“Lauren is a home-grown hero and we couldn’t be more proud of her and her achievements,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Lauren always speaks warmly of her beginnings here as a Sarina Demons junior, and she is proof of our region’s reputation as a breeding ground for world-class athletes.

“We are pleased to welcome the SUNS back to Mackay in 2024 and, as a SUNS AFLW feeder region, cheer for them as our home team.”

Gold Coast SUNS AFLW games record holder Lauren Bella has signed with the club until 2027. Photos supplied Gold Coast SUNS

In other news