ALISON Drennan is 30, but Gold Coast coach Cameron Joyce believes her best football lies ahead after the midfielder smashed her 2km best at Friday night's time trial.
Drennan broke the coveted seven-minute barrier as 24 Suns completed the endurance test under the floodlights of Southport's Griffith University.
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In her first season with Gold Coast after crossing from St Kilda, Drennan was a shining light in a difficult 2021, finishing second in the best and fairest behind Lauren Ahrens following a consistent year of ball-winning.
Recently-appointed Joyce told womens.afl that Drennan was a great example for her younger teammates.
"I'm really excited to see how she develops," Joyce said.
"She's an older player in our group, but I believe her best footy is in front of her.
"She trains super hard. She's at her third AFLW club, but I think there's real scope for improvement through our midfield with her.
"She adds another dimension in our midfield mix."
Drennan set a blistering early pace and continued strongly to shave almost 15 seconds off her previous best time.
Teenager Lucy Single and Bess Keaney rounded out the top three with strong performances.
"For Drenno to run under seven minutes, I wouldn't think there's too many in the comp doing that," Joyce said.
"She's had a great winter training block and then coming into AFLW pre-season, her diligence, her application has been exceptional and she got the results."
Gold Coast has had a slightly interrupted start to its pre-season with the Levi sisters, Maddison and Teagan, switching codes to rugby. They have been replaced by local products Shannon Danckert and Jacqueline Dupuy.