THE year 2020 may seem like a fair way down the track but for Gold Coast Suns women’s coach Michael Gugliotta, it is rapidly approaching.
The fledgling Suns team play their final game of the 2018 winter series this afternoon against local rivals Brisbane Lions as a curtain-raiser to the men’s clash with Essendon.
Gugliotta speaks highly of the four AFL Cairns juniors — Sodyla Kris, Selina Goodman, Kitara Farrar and Luana Healey — in the Suns squad and says they are right in the mix come selection time for their first team when they enter the AFLW in 2020.
“We are just trying to get a feel of the team and the culture we want to have in 18 months time,” Gugliotta said.
“It is probably less time than that really.
“When we come back to play in 2019, it is about practice for 2020 and we want to make sure we are as closely aligned to that as we possibly can.
“When we are talking about the 2020 squad, we are starting that process in March and April next year, it is not that far away.”
North Cairns pair Kris and Healey flew down to the Gold Coast earlier this week, rather than landing on game day, to better integrate into the workings of an AFL club.
“We have the facilities here and I think we are on the way to making our integration between our men’s and women’s program,” Gugliotta said.
“It is about making sure the talent in Cairns is being tapped into through this program.”