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Club Champion: Follow our night of nights

On Saturday September 2 Gold Coast SUNS will crown their 2017 Club Champion at Southport Sharks Events Centre. 

Among a host of other awards we will reveal the club's top three in the Club Champion award, an accolade held in the highest regard. 

Awards presented at Club Champion

Club Champion
Club Champion Runner Up
Club Champion Third Place
Community Award
Elastoplast Most Improved
HOSTPLUS Most Professional
Players’ Player Award
NEAFL Player of the Year
Academy Player of the Year

As we have done throughout the year will be taking you behind the scenes for the evening, plus announcing the award winners live across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and right here on our website.

Arrivals commence at 6.30pm on Saturday with award winners announced throughout the evening. It is anticipated the 2017 Club Champion will be crowned between 10.30pm and 11.00pm.

Since arriving on the Coast in 2014 both Peter Wright and Touk Miller have embraced the clubs community spirit, devoting their time to the support of homeless youth and engaging one of the clubs nominated charities, the Project for Homeless Youth Gold Coast.

Approximately 1,400 people are homeless each night on the Gold Coast, and over 300 are considered homeless youth. Over the past two years Peter and Touk have shown genuine and tireless care towards the support of many of these young Gold Coasters, preparing healthy meals every second Wednesday evening throughout the season and pre-season.

Peter and Touk’s initiative to step up and support this social issue on a regular and ongoing basis, during their scheduled CBA days off and using their own resources, has truly improved the ability for the Project for Homeless Youth to positively change the lives of misguided youth that come through their services. Further to this, both player’s leadership and genuine care has provided over 80 youth with role models of high integrity.


The inaugural SUN fought tooth and nail for his team in 2017, showing grit and determination each time he entered the field. After two years of being forced to watch from the grandstand, David Swallow returned with a vengeance in 2017, highlighted by this peer recognition award.

Captains Tom Lynch and Steven May presented the award to Swallow as part of the Club Champion celebration evening, with the award itself voted on by the entire playing group.

In a year where he excelled at both U18 and NEAFL level it’s no surprise ruckman Brayden Crossley has been named the Academy Player Of The Year. At 198cm the teenager as been likened to Shane Mumford, and has an imposing presence on field despite his age. His contested marking is the cornerstone of his game, and after two successful years in the SUNS’ NEAFL team as an Academy top-up player, plus an impressive campaign with the Allies, Crossley is destined for AFL stardom.

The small forward is known for his relentless pressure, and throughout the season Darcy Macpherson’s name was consistently in the mix to takeout the NEAFL MVP Award. The 19-year-old also earned himself a place in the NEAFL Team of the Year forward line after delighting onlookers with his clever skills and willingness to put his body on the line.

Macpherson’s senior call up came in Round 14, a direct result of the skills and tenacity he had shown throughout the NEAFL competition. An integral part of the NEAFL team’s successful 2017 campaign, Macpherson’s game has gone from strength-to-strength in 2017.

Gold Coast Academy product Jesse Joyce has earned the nod for Most Improved player for 2017. The Gold Coast local’s composure in the backline was first on display in 2016, playing 11 games following his Round 11 debut. Joyce’s quality ball use and calm presence under pressure is far beyond his 20-years, and in 2017 he added 17 games to his name. Learning from the likes of Steven May and Jarrod Harbrow, Joyce has gone from strength-to-strength, applying himself in every avenue of his football and continuously learning within the elite environment.

During his first year as a SUN, Michael Barlow quickly became known for his professionalism on and off the field. Through his leadership and constant pursuit of excellence, Barlow not only lived the standard of an elite footballer but constantly pushed it higher, challenging his peers to follow suit.

The 29-year-old suffered an unfortunate break to his leg during Round 13 of the 2017 season and during his on-field absence took to mentoring the younger players and further embedding himself into the Gold Coast SUNS club culture.

Jack Martin was a shining light for Gold Coast in season 2017. The prodigious talent was relentless in the way he applied himself throughout the year, reaping the rewards with his second podium finish in the Club Champion award in as many years. Martin’s poise and decision-making exceeds his 22-years, and it’s easy to forget he only ticked over the 50 game milestone this season.

Martin’s upward trajectory and pure talent has delighted SUNS fans over previous years, and he’ll no doubt continue to do so as he reaches new elite levels.

David Swallow’s 18 games in season 2017 have been nothing short of prolific. After 630 days sidelined with knee issues, Swallow returned to the SUNS’ senior team in Round 2. The former No.1 draft pick’s silky ball movement and brut force was continuously an inspiration to fellow teammates, who always knew Swallow would lead from the front and uphold the Brotherhood mantra.

Tonight is Swallow’s second podium finish, having won the Club Champion award in 2014. To say the future is bright for the midfielder is an understatement – Swallow is engrained within the fabric of the club and is a central part of the future success both on and off the field.

2017 has been quite the year for the man known as the Little Master. He celebrated his 300th AFL game in Round 15, a feat reached by only the greatest of our game.

Week-in-week-out Gary Ablett put it all on the line for the red and gold, reminding audiences across the nation why he was the son of God. The dual Browlow medalist averaged 33 disposals in 2017, showing he still had the pace and evasiveness he was famous for. His name is etched in AFL history, and now he’ll add Club Champion 2017 to his long list of accolades.

Tonight is the fourth time Gary Ablett has been crowned Club Champion at the SUNS.

Club Champion 2017 Top 10
Gary Ablett (126 votes)
David Swallow (106)
Jack Martin (104)
Tom Lynch (101)
Aaron Hall (97)
Jarryd Lyons (91)
Jarrod Harbrow (79)
Touk Miller (70)
Steven May (66)
Adam Saad (64)