Breakout SUNS midfielder Sam Flanders has been named the 2023 Heritage Bank Emerging Player at the Gold Coast SUNS Club Champion.

Despite a knee injury interrupting his season mid-year, Flanders has thrived with added responsibility in the midfield to finish the year in barnstorming fashion.

Returning to the AFL lineup in Round 15, Flanders averaged 29 disposals and five clearances per game for the final 10 matches of the year.

The 22-year-old played 14 matches in 2023 for a career-best season.

Previous winners of the award include Noah Anderson (2022, 2020), Jeremy Sharp (2021), Charlie Ballard (2019) and Alex Sexton (2018) in recent seasons.