The Gold Coast SUNS are pleased to confirm the 23 members who have been selected in its 2023 Member Team of the Year.
Those selected in this year’s Member Team of the Year will have the chance to participate in the Guard of Honour in Round 23 as well as receive a Member Team of the Year Photo, match-worn guernsey of the player they are matched with, a personalised footy badge and their name called out by the ground announcer pre game in Round 23 as the team is announced.
1. John Ryan
John Ryan is well and truly where he belongs in the SUNS Member team. A loyal member who has been with the SUNS since the beginning. This is Ryan’s debut in the team with selectors looking for some fresh legs along with a wealth of SUNS knowledge.
2. Daniel Ramage
A Gold Coaster with a passion for the SUNS and the community, Ramage is a well-deserved recipient of Member Team honours. He attends SUNS games, week in, week out. Volunteering most of his time to bring a group of individuals with a disability to the game. Ramage is usually organising food, drinks, and gifts from the SUNS Shop for his group and never complains about missing some game time. A truly deserved inclusion.
3. Kayden Kelly
Kayden Kelly is one of the Gold Coast SUNS’ most passionate members. He lives and breathes for footy. With a love for the game that started at the young age of four, he has dedicated himself to honing his skills and has been playing for several years. As a loyal and committed supporter, he has been an integral part of the GC SUNS since 2015, displaying unwavering dedication and enthusiasm for his team.
4. Callum Kirk
Born & bred in Perth, Kirk started supporting Gold Coast & has been a passionate member since he was 10 years old and fellow Perth boy David Swallow was drafted. He has copped lots of flak from his family and friends over the years but has stuck by the SUNS loyally. Kirk has flown from Perth to watch games in Melbourne & Gold Coast, including the 2014 momentous win over Collingwood! Kirk proudly wears his Gold Coast jersey and has successfully converted his mum and sister to Gold Coast supporters. Kirk is working hard to convert his dad. Hopefully a future father-son combination in the team down the track.
5. Di Ritchers
Ritchers is a soldier for the SUNS. A member since 2010 that attends every home game and watches every other game at home without missing a minute. Ritchers loves to wear her colours proudly and paints her “war colours” on her face before every game. A proud and passionate member that wears the red, gold and blue as proudly as anybody.
6. Cooper Foster-Brown
Foster-Brown has been on the SUNS member list since 2017. He shows great persistence after begging his parents to become a member for years. Since joining, Foster-Brown has shown his loyalty attending almost every home game cheering as loud as possible whilst waving his massive flags in the stand.
7. Belinda Thompson
Another inaugural member with a very polished CV. Thompson has been labelled a ‘superfan’ by ABC Gold Coast, whom she speaks with weekly. Thompson has travelled to Darwin as well as other states to watch the SUNS play. She even hosts away game parties at her home with fellow avid SUNS supporters. Thompson leads the cheer squad and supports three other sections. Thompson bleeds SUNS colours and provides great passion earning her a place in the final 22.
8. Cooper Green
Green is a South Australian-based member and loves to show it off. Green wears his colours proud and tries to convert as many South Australians as possible. Green travels interstate when he can. This year he went to Darwin and watch the SUNS beat his home-state Crows. Green has even run out with the team as Sunny Ray and helps with the banner at games he can attend.
9. Vicki Rulton (C)
Captain of our Member Team of the Year and the lady with no fear! You might not know her by name, but Rulton stood tall cheering and waving her SUNS flag proudly in a sea of yellow and black against the Tigers in Melbourne. Rulton has been a member since 2012 and has gotten to know players and staff at the SUNS. She is much loved and will stand by her SUNS through thick and thin. Rulton is a selfless and respected leader for the team!
10. Billie Boencke
Billie is as proud as they come. She is all over the latest SUNS news. Not just AFL, Billie keeps up to date with AFLW, VFL and Academy news. She wears her colours proudly and was a part of banner duties this season which was her yearly highlight.
11. Trevor Smith
Smith is an inaugural SUNS member who has been involved with the half-time games up until last season. Smith decided to hang up his hat and cheer on his team in a more observational role. Smith has a strong passion for the SUNS and a pure love for the game.
12. Kayla Smith
Smith is an essential part of this year’s Member Team. She is only a new member, joining with us this season yet proven to be as loyal and helpful as anybody. She is helping with the banner as a part of the SUNscreamers and has already developed great relationships with the players.
13. Gary Baker
Despite being based in Melbourne, Baker is right at home in the Member TOTY. Baker can be found in the VIC cheer squad when the boys travel down there. Baker will also watch every game from first bounce to the final siren. Baker says that he “will be a member for life” and he can’t wait for the day they bring home their first premiership cup.
14. Samone Brewer
Another Foundation Member, Brewer was following her dads’ footsteps cheering on the Kangaroos before the SUNS joined the competition. Since then, it has been all red, yellow, and blue. Brewer attends most of the home games alone displaying her upmost loyalty to the SUNS. A great addition to the 2023 Member Team.
15. Tilly Hall
Selectors have decided to add some youth to the mix this year. Seven-year-old Hall is an avid SUNS supporter. Even though Hall lives in regional Victoria, her passion for the SUNS is undeniable. She never misses a game in Victoria, and she will watch every second of the interstate games. She is the only SUNS supporter at her school, Auskick centre and in her footy but that has never fazed her. Every year during Footy Day at school she proudly stands up by herself and does a lap of the gym in front of the rest of the school when the Suns song is played. Hall’s courage and commitment earns her honours in the Member Team of the Year.
16. Walter Vecchiet
Vecchiet, a foundation member that has attended all Queensland-based games this season along with the two home game wins played in Darwin. Vecchiet participated in the guard of honour held at the Gabba. His love for the SUNS and the players is irrefutable even enjoying watching the talent of Gold Coast products starring at other clubs. Vecchiet has stuck by the SUNS through thick and thin solidifying himself as a brilliant supporter and a valuable addition to the team.
17. Sharon Hayes
Founder of the largest ‘SUNS fan page’ on Facebook and a 14-year member, Hayes’ commitment to the SUNS and their growth is extremely valuable. Hayes is a member of the ‘Member’s Council’ and does what she can to generate more members for the club. This includes her husband who Hayes converted from NRL. Hayes is a regular traveller and assists with banner duties. She is known for her speed with quick updates and latest news on her Facebook page making her a perfect inclusion for this year’s team.
18. Sharon Edwards
Another SUNS screamer for this year’s team. Edwards is also a part of the Members Council working tirelessly to grow the SUNS’ membership numbers. On board from the beginning, now Edwards’ children have grown up, she attends most of the game solo however makes enough noise for all of them. A great asset for the club and well-deserved honours being selected for Team of the Year.
19. Jackson Francis
Francis is another young member. Joining the squad before he was born, it has taken Francis only nine years to get his opportunity at a debut. Francis is known for his high footy IQ and watches games on repeat to analyse the team’s performance. Francis is only young but will provide great leadership both on and off the field.
20. Hudson Turley
Turley is another of the next generation of talent coming through at just seven years of age. Turley wears his guernsey any chance that he gets and has SUNS posters covering his bedroom. He will be able to work well with Francis as both young members like to watch replays and analyse the game. Turley will play the SUNS theme song through his home sound system as loud as it can go!
21. Jo Rogers
A Foundation Member for life and mother of SUNS Academy star Jake;Rogers will provide great leadership in this year’s team. She has already proven her ability to develop young players and with the youth in the team this year, Rogers’ experience will be extremely valuable.
22. Hayley Riches
Riches has been an integral part of the SUNS community since her father, Gavin joined as a member in 2010. Riches has been involved in banner duties since the age of 11 at Victorian games as well as travelling with her father now to assist interstate as well. Riches has also been the SUNS mascot and you will usually find her behind the goals holding her homemade banner reading, “SUNNY SIDE UP.”
23. Matthew Vial
Vial is drafted into the 2023 Member Team of the Year based on his expert knowledge of the SUNS and strong presence from the grandstand. Vial lives and breathes anything SUNS. He reads every email, watches every post, argues every play, and applauds every advance.