Inaugural SUN Zac Smith will call time on his 123-game playing career after the Round 23 match against Sydney this weekend.

The 31-year-old broke the news to players and staff in Melbourne and said he was thankful for a long career and looking forward to spending more time with his young family.

“I’m extremely proud of what I’ve been able to achieve throughout my 13 years in the AFL system,” Smith said.

“There’s a lot of really good moments, adventures and memories that I’ll hang onto for a very, very long time.

“To the SUNS and the Geelong footy clubs, I can’t be more grateful for the opportunity the two clubs have given me, particularly the SUNS.

“The people are what make up footy clubs and there’s some really good people around at the Gold Coast SUNS at the moment so I can see a really bright future.”

The popular ruckman began his career with the SUNS after being selected as a Queensland zone selection in 2009 when the club was first established.

He played in the early SUNS TAC Cup team in 2009, as well as the club’s VFL side in 2010 prior to Gold Coast entering the AFL competition.

In 2011 he made his AFL debut in the club’s first ever match in Round 2 against Carlton at the Gabba, and made history as the first player to register a point for the Gold Coast SUNS in the AFL.

After playing 65 games for the SUNS in five seasons, Smith moved to Geelong where he added a further 50 games in his four seasons with the Cats.

Smith then made the decision to return to the SUNS ahead of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season and has been an important player since co-captain Jarrod Witts went down with an ACL injury, playing seven games.

Gold Coast SUNS General Manager of Football Operations Jon Haines thanked Smith for his contributions to the club over many years.

“Zac has compiled an amazing career over the last decade in the AFL and he should be incredibly proud of what he has accomplished in that time,” Haines said.

“We wish Zac, Aimee, Eden and Oscar all the best for what lies ahead and they will always be an important part of the Suns family.”