tmedia
Main content

Our Story

The Gold Coast SUNS were established in 2009 with the promise of bringing bold, fresh, community-focused football to the people of the Gold Coast, a community we share a deep connection with. And we have been relentless in our commitment to consistently deliver on these promises.

We exist because the local community wanted an AFL club and was prepared to run a successful campaign to win an AFL licence.

We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to deliver for the Gold Coast community and the AFL since we arrived on the Coast in 2009.

In the last five years our club and our players have committed to more than 26,115 community volunteering hours with a strong focus on key social projects tackling domestic violence, youth homelessness and regional needs.
It isn’t tick-a-box community. It is authentic engagement with a community that has backed us. It is giving back to a community that supports us.

We have worked hard to promote the growth of AFL in a rugby-obsessed state, with participation in junior football, the women’s game and Auskick programs up 82% overall. And we maintain strong community engagement to promote diversity, indigenous programs and multiculturalism.

This, combined with the development of Metricon Stadium and an average contribution to the local economy of some $38 million per year over the last five years, means we’re not only part of the future of this great game but also an integral part of the Gold Coast’s story.

We’ve worked hard to create a club based on community and a strong culture and we are now focused on building a high performing and successful club that is as bold, fearless and as committed on the field as it is off.

We are building a club that is sustainable and respected by all for its drive, professionalism, its culture and its commitment to both the game and the community that has supported the club.

 

The Build

April 22, 2008 - The Australian Football League formally invited a group of Gold Coast business and community representatives to form a board to participate in a six month process to demonstrate an AFL licence for a new team based on the Gold Coast had all the foundations for long-term success. GC 17 was born.

The process established the structural elements and framework that the Gold Coast group had to deliver before a licence was granted.

The GC 17 Bid Team was led by Minter Ellison Gold Coast managing partner John Witheriff, ex-Brisbane Lions president Graeme Downie and Southport Football Club president Dr Alan Mackenzie, CEO of the Gold Coast City Council Dale Dickson and Gold Coast Bulletin Editor-in-Chief Bob Gordon.

See how the GC 17 Bid Team met the criteria for a 17th AFL Team - click here.

View the list of Vice President’s whose generous support helped make the Gold Coast SUNS a reality - click here.

June 2008 - It is revealed the Gold Coast Football Club (GCFC) will have a side compete in the Under 18 TAC Cup side in 2009, and then the VFL in 2010.

August 2008 - Gold Coast appoint Guy McKenna as coach.

March 31, 2009 - AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou grants a provisional license for the Gold Coast to have their own AFL team, commencing in 2011.

April 4, 2009 - Gold Coast play their first match in the TAC Cup, going down by 38 points to the Eastern Ranges.

April 12, 2009 - Gold Coast record their first win in the TAC Cup, defeating the Western Jets by 134 points.

May 15, 2009 - Highly respected Essendon administrator Travis Auld joins the Gold Coast as CEO.

July 29, 2009 - Brisbane Broncos fullback Karmichael Hunt stuns the sporting world by announcing he will be switching codes and plying his trade in the AFL with the Gold Coast Football Club, commencing in 2010.

September 13, 2009 - After winning their elimination final, Gold Coast bow out of the finals of the TAC Cup, going down to the Geelong Falcons by 41 points in the semi-final.

October 2009 - Coach Guy McKenna has his contract extended until the end of the 2012 season.

December 15, 2009 - Gold Coast select Daniel Harris, Michael Coad, Sam Iles and Danny Stanley in the AFL rookie draft to bolster their squad for the 2010 VFL season.

March 15, 2010 - Gold Coast Stadium, Carrara, will undergo a refurbishment, and will be the home of the Gold Coast Football Club. It will be known as Metricon Stadium.

April 10, 2010 - Gold Coast makes its VFL debut, going down to Port Melbourne by 12 points.

May 15, 2010 - Gold Coast wins their first game of the VFL season (after a draw in Round 3), defeating Geelong by 28 points.

June 12, 2010 - Karmichael Hunt makes his VFL debut for Gold Coast against Coburg Tigers, and kicks two goals.

July 22, 2010 - The GCFC reveals its nickname, team colours and team song ahead of its AFL debut in 2011. They will be known as the Gold Coast SUNS, wearing red, gold and blue. Click here to read all about it!

August 17, 2010 - Nathan Bock (Adelaide Crows) is announced as a Gold Coast SUNS uncontracted player signing.

August 21, 2010 - Gold Coast play their final game in the VFL, and are defeated by Collingwood by 50 points at Victoria Park.

September 2010 - Sam Iles is named as the Gold Coast club Champion in their VFL season.

September 1, 2010 - Nathan Krakouer (Port Adelaide) is another uncontracted player signing for the SUNS.

September 7, 2010 - Brisbane Lions B&F winner Michael Rischitelli joins the SUNS as an uncontracted player signing.

September 14, 2010 - Hawthorn premiership player Campbell Brown announces he will be joining the SUNS as an uncontracted player signing.

September 21, 2010 - Jarrod Harbrow (Western Bulldogs) reveals he will be heading home and joining the SUNS as an uncontracted player signing.

September 29, 2010 - After months of speculation, the SUNS reveal they have sealed the signature of the 2009 Brownlow Medallist and dual Geelong premiership player Gary Ablett to a five year deal.

October 7, 2010 - Former Number 1 National Draft Selection Josh Fraser (Collingwood), and mercurial Brisbane Lions forward Jared Brennan join the SUNS via a three way trade.

November 18, 2010 - Holding eight of the first 13 selections at the National Draft, the SUNS are able to select the cream of the young talent around Australia. They duly select David Swallow (Number 1), Harley Bennell (2), Sam Day (3), Josh Caddy (7), Dion Prestia (9), Daniel Gorringe (10), Tom Lynch (11) and Seb Tape (13). They also select Jeremy Taylor (39) and Jacob Gillbee (49).

December 7, 2010 - The SUNS select Nathan Ablett, younger brother of Gary Ablett, with the number one selection in the Pre Season Draft.

January 19, 2011 - The SUNS announce their leadership group for their debut season, with Gary Ablett named as captain. Nathan Bock is announced as vice-captain, with Campbell Brown deputy vice-captain.

April 2, 2011 - After a Round 1 bye, the wait was over for the SUNS as they make their AFL debut against Carlton at the Gabba in Brisbane. In front of 27,914 fans, the SUNS endure a difficult night, going down by 119 points. Charlie Dixon kicks the SUNS first ever goal in the AFL.

Inaugural Team
B: S. Tape, N. Bock, C. Brown
HB: N. Krakouer, K. Hunt, J. Harbrow
C: T. McKenzie, D. Harris, M. Rischitelli
HF: D. Stanley, C. Dixon, A. Magin
F: J. Brennan, Z. Smith, B. Matera
FOLL: J. Fraser, D. Swallow, G. Ablett
I/C: M. Lock, H. Bennell, D. Prestia, J. Toy (Sub)
EMG: M. Weller, D. Gorringe, M. Coad

Key Moments

First Win: April 23, 2011 - Despite trailing by 40 points in the third quarter, the Gold Coast SUNS record their maiden victory in the AFL, defeating Port Adelaide by three points at AAMI Stadium.

First QClash: May 7, 2011 - The inaugural QClash between the SUNS and the Brisbane Lions is an absolute thriller, with the SUNS holding on for an eight point victory to claim bragging rights. Former Lion Jared Brennan is awarded the Marcus Ashcroft Medal as best afield.

GC SUNS play first AFL game on the Gold Coast: May 28, 2011 - The SUNS play their first match at their refurbished home ground, Metricon Stadium, against Geelong. They SUNS take it up to the Cats, leading at half time before running out of legs and going down by 66 points. The match is memorable for Karmichael Hunt's first goal in the AFL, a booming 60 metre effort on the run.

First Win: April 23, 2011 - Despite trailing by 40 points in the third quarter, the Gold Coast SUNS record their maiden victory in the AFL, defeating Port Adelaide by three points at AAMI Stadium.

First QClash: May 7, 2011 - The inaugural QClash between the SUNS and the Brisbane Lions is an absolute thriller, with the SUNS holding on for an eight point victory to claim bragging rights. Former Lion Jared Brennan is awarded the Marcus Ashcroft Medal as best afield.

GC SUNS play first AFL game on the Gold Coast: May 28, 2011 - The SUNS play their first match at their refurbished home ground, Metricon Stadium, against Geelong. They SUNS take it up to the Cats, leading at half time before running out of legs and going down by 66 points. The match is memorable for Karmichael Hunt's first goal in the AFL, a booming 60 metre effort on the run.

First AFL Game played in far North Queensland: July 16, 2011 - In the first match played for premiership points in far North Queensland, the Gold Coast Suns defeat Richmond by 15 points to record their third win of the season.

Inaugural Club Champion Named: September 9, 2011 - SUNS skipper Gary Ablett is unsurprisingly named as the clubs inaugural Club Champion. Nathan Bock finishes runner-up, with Michael Rischitelli in third place.

First win at Metricon Stadium: August 11, 2012 - The SUNS celebrate their maiden victory at Metricon Stadium with a five goal win over new boys the GWS Giants.

O’Meara claims NAB Rising Star: September 4, 2013 - Jaeger O'Meara capped off an outstanding debut season by winning the NAB AFL Rising Star Award from Adelaide's Brad Crouch, with Port Adelaide's Oliver Wines finishing third.

O'Meara polled 44 of a possible 45 votes to win by 13 votes from Crouch, with Wines finishing on 26 votes ahead of North Melbourne's Aaron Mullett and Sydney Swan Tom Mitchell who tied on 11 votes in equal fourth.

O'Meara was the strong favourite heading into the Rising Star announcement in Melbourne after a stellar debut season when he played all 22 of the Suns' games and averaged 21.6 disposals and kicked 16 goals.

Gary Ablett wins Brownlow Medal: September 23, 2013 - Ablett polled three votes for his dominant display against Greater Western Sydney in the final round to pip his close friend and former teammate Joel Selwood by one vote to win the 2013 Brownlow Medal.

Ablett became just the fifth man to win a Brownlow at his second AFL club. He joined Ian Stewart (St Kilda and Richmond), Peter Moore (Collingwood and Melbourne), Greg Williams (Sydney and Carlton) and Chris Judd (West Coast and Carlton) as footballers who have achieved the feat.

He is also the 14th multiple winner of the medal, which was first presented in 1924.

Ablett mounted his charge from Round 7, polling 16 of a possible 18 votes over the next six matches including being best afield against Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn and North Melbourne. That took him to 20 votes, equalling the best tally from the first 12 matches in a Brownlow count.

Rodney Eade appointed Senior Coach: October 30, 2014 - The Gold Coast SUNS unveiled Rodney Eade as its new senior coach. Before joining the SUNS Eade had coached 314 games for 162 wins. He led the Swans into a Grand Final in 1996 and the Western Bulldogs to three preliminary finals between 2008-2010. He coached these clubs into nine finals series in 14 seasons. He also played in four premierships with Hawthorn.

Gold Coast SUNS secure permanent training and administration base: April 12, 2015 - The Australian Government announced it will provide $15 million towards the construction of a permanent training and administration base for the Gold Coast SUNS in the Metricon Stadium precinct. The total cost of the project is estimated at $22 million. The AFL and the SUNS will jointly contribute $7 million. GC SUNS Chairman, John Witheriff, welcomed the funding announcement, “This announcement is the final piece of the puzzle in establishing the infrastructure required to secure an elite AFL team on the Gold Coast.”