Gold Coast juniors making their mark

Not one, not two, not three… all four of the SUNS Academy’s 2023 graduates made their mark early in the season.

It all began in Round 2 as Pick 3 Jed Walter launched his AFL career in Ballarat, eventually kicking his maiden AFL goal a fortnight later when best mates and junior teammates Ethan Read and Will Graham earned their own debuts. A fortnight further along and Jake Rogers had also been thrown into the AFL ring.

Fellow SUNS Academy member Sam Clohesy also hasn’t missed a beat on the wing since his Round 4 debut and can consider himself unlucky that a December 2002 birthday has him out of Rising Star calculations.

Rising Stars

After working his way into the side in Round 6, it didn’t take long for the AFL world to take notice of Jake Rogers. Jake the Snake slid his way into a Rising Star nomination in just his second game with 22 disposals, 13 contested possessions, four goal assists and a goal of his own in the Round 7 win over West Coast at People First Stadium.

No more than a handful of weeks later and it was another Gold Coaster lighting up People First Stadium as Bodhi Uwland was immense in the Round 12 win against Essendon, finishing with a game-high 13 marks, four intercepts and 19 disposals at 89.5% efficiency in just his 13th career game.

Home fortress

That win against the Bombers is one on a growing list of memorable days at People First Stadium. Running out in front of home crowds on either the Gold Coast or in Darwin, the SUNS are undefeated in 2024.

The Opening Round crowd against Richmond and the Round 12 crowd sit among the top five largest crowds for an AFL match on the Gold Coast, while the Thursday night blockbuster at TIO Stadium brought about the largest Darwin crowd in seven years.

Next up, a tantalising Saturday twilight showdown with the defending premiers…


There’s just something special about Territory footy. From the memorable moments shared with the local communities, to the sea of red, blue and gold across the City to the two blistering wins against North Melbourne and Geelong, it’s a week that will live long in the memory. The SUNS have now recorded six straight wins in its home away from home.

King Ben

Just over two years on from a season-ending knee injury, Ben King is stamping his authority on the AFL. An exemplar of consistency so far this season, the 23-year-old has gone goalless just once and has kicked multiple goals in 11 games running to find himself with a joint lead in the Coleman Medal race alongside Charlie Curnow.

It’s little surprise with King’s commitment to his craft, or perhaps the daily battles with the likes of Sam Collins and Mac Andrew – both of whom are having standout seasons in defensive 50.

SUNS DIY Big Freeze

As the AFL world rallied around Neale Daniher and his continued fight against motor neuron disease, the SUNS united personalities from right across South-East Queensland to bring their own little taste of the Big Freeze to the Gold Coast.

Sending a hotlist of local entrepreneurs, former Australian test captains, Ironman champions, influencers, news reporters and plenty more into a freezing dunk tank, the SUNS the Austworld Centre into a sea of blue beanies for its very first DIY Big Freeze.