Cameron Joyce looks on ahead of the elimination final between Gold Coast and Sydney at People First Stadium on November 11. 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

CAMERON Joyce says that the stability his new contract extension brings will allow Gold Coast to build toward a maiden finals victory.

Joyce led the Suns to just their second finals appearance last year, and now has the opportunity to further build on that improvement over the next three seasons, after signing on until the end of the 2026 NAB AFL Women's season.

"You've got to get the right stability, but stability at any sort of organisation, especially sporting organisations, just allows a bit of continuity," Joyce told

"It gives us a chance to try and build something (over) more than just a couple of seasons."

That ability to improve season on season has already been evident in Joyce's tenure. Arriving at the club in 2022 after a winless year, Joyce led the Suns to three wins in his first season, five in his second and six – and finals qualification – in his third.

The support system around him has also been key to the club's improving fortunes, with Adelaide premiership player Jess Sedunary and former Gold Coast defender Rory Thompson joining his coaching panel this year.


"It's an exciting time to be at the Suns. The boys are playing some good footy, and we want to keep improving our program," Joyce said.

"The vibe around the club has been really positive."

This year, as the Suns aim to not only qualify for finals again but claim their first finals win, eyes will be on the backline.

Bidding goodbye to inaugural player and 2021 best and fairest winner Lauren Ahrens during the off-season, the club welcomed Katie Lynch and Charlotte Wilson to the line.

They join Daisy D'Arcy, who was named in the All-Australian squad last year, emerging interceptor Meara Girvan and key defender Vivien Saad.

"We were really keen to bring both Katie and Charlotte in to add to our defence, with a bit of reshuffling down there," Joyce said.

Katie Lynch after joining Gold Coast from the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Gold Coast FC

"Both, at ages around 23, 24, they can really grow and develop with us … We've certainly got some talent in that part of the ground, and it's just a matter of how we bring that together."

For Lynch, arriving at the club and working with Joyce has been an important step in her career.

"I've been really enjoying spending a bit of time with him. He's got an incredible football brain," Lynch said.

"He's one of the few people I've come across in the industry that is so passionate while being so smart about what they do. It's going to be my task to extract as much as I can out of him."

Cameron Joyce addresses his team during the AFLW R4 match between Gold Coast and Western Bulldogs at People First Stadium on September 24, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Looking towards the season ahead, which includes 11 home and away games over 10 weeks, it's a new challenge for all clubs and results will come down to how teams choose to approach the new structure.

Joyce admitted that while the physical test the condensed fixture presents is an important consideration, the mindset of players approaching that part of the season is equally significant.

"The competition this season coming up is going to be incredibly tight," Joyce said.

"We were able to maximise our opportunities last year and qualify to be fifth. I think one thing that's burning with us all at the minute, especially those that were involved last year is that we weren't able to win a final and progress.

"That's certainly something that is a driver for us."