The Brisbane Lions have secured exciting AFLW ruck-forward Taylor Smith in a trade with the Gold Coast Suns.
The Lions nabbed the 20-year-old plus draft picks 37 (Qld 5) and 51 (Qld 7) in exchange for pick 24 (Qld 4).
Smith was drafted as a project player for the Suns’ inaugural AFLW season having only recently taken up the sport but broke through to make her debut against West Coast in round 6.
Her original sporting passion was athletics where she first focused on high jump and hurdles before progressing to heptathlon at age sixteen.
She reached national level in the sport but while in year 12 a chance game of footy for her school, Coomera Anglican College, in the local APS inter-school competition changed everything.
She was spotted by an AFL Queensland talent scout who organised a trial with the Suns’ talent academy.
She also joined Bond University footy club for the 2018 QAFLW competition and quickly fell in love with the game.
Less than two years after kicking a footy for the first time at school, she made her AFLW debut for the Suns having been drafted with a priority pick ahead of Gold Coast’s inaugural season.
Lions AFLW coach Craig Starcevich said he was thrilled to bring another young plyer to the Club, especially one with such exciting upside as Smith.
“Taylor is really versatile and can play in several positions,’’ he said.
“Her athletics background gives her a really good base to come into our program with.
“And she has already shown in this season’s QAFLW competition that she has an appetite to continually improve.’’
Smith, who described the past 24 hours as a whirlwind, said she thrilled with the opportunity to join the Lions and believed the move would see her reach her potential as a footballer.
“It has been the craziest day of my life, it all happened very quickly,’’ she said.
“I was only recently talking to my manager about how can I better my football and then Bree (Brock) called me saying there was an opportunity for me at the Lions.
“I took the chance over the Covid break to work on the things I needed to improve on based on the feedback I’d received from my first AFLW season and I used that time wisely, I think I have taken my game to a new level in the QAFLW this year and I can’t wait to build on that and continue my development with the Lions.’’