The sun was shining down on the Sunshine Coast’s Kiara Hillier in Wednesday’s NAB AFLW Draft, with the 17-year-old headed to the Brisbane Lions at Pick 78.

The Lions Academy product joins a long list of Lions’ talent hailing from the Sunshine Coast, including QAFLW teammates Lily Postlethwaite and Bella Smith.

A reliable rebounding defender, Hillier was often charged with the responsibility of kickouts for Queensland in the recent 2022 NAB AFLW Under 18 Championships.

The 2022 QAFLW season has given Hillier the chance to show another side to her game, often spending time in the forward half for the Maroochydore Roos.

“Kiara is a rebounding medium sized defender with great athleticism who likes to carry the ball out of the back half,” Head Coach Craig Starcevich said.

“She can play on a variety of opposition forwards, is good in the 1 on 1 contest, and is always looking to add metres to her disposals by carrying the footy out of defence.

“She has also shown the ability at club level to go forward and become a dangerous offensive threat.

“We think her style and willingness to take on the game suits our group very well.”