In a year filled with challenges, the SUNS managed to break its all-time membership record last month, and it could have been one particular bulk recruitment which got the club over the line.
Long-time fan Cathy McGarry received a phone call from young SUN Wil Powell asking her to sign up.
The SUNS players had been holding an internal competition to see how many members they could recruit and Powell had caught wind that McGarry was someone who could be interested in signing up.
But what happened next surprised even him, with McGarry deciding to buy a membership for all 15 of her family members including her husband, three children and eight grandchildren.
Speaking to SUNS Media, she said it was the least she could do to show her support for the club.
“We’ve been supporting the SUNS since day dot so I was more than happy to sign us all up,” she said.
“This year has just been phenomenal to see them getting some rewards for all the hard work.
“Footy people can be quite fickle and they write you off pretty quickly so it’s really nice to see them finally getting some kudos in the media and amongst the supporters.”
McGarry comes from a footy mad family, and regularly would travel interstate to watch the SUNS play.
Her grandchildren have also taken up the game, playing junior football on the Gold Coast with the Mudgeeraba Spartans.
After hearing the good news that Matt Rowell had re-signed with the club earlier in the week, McGarry said she sensed something special was brewing at Metricon Stadium.
“It’s all good signs for the SUNS because we’ve got stability,” she said.
“I really feel like the young guys are deciding to stick together and create a bit of history.
“What better challenge than to stick together at the club and be loyal and then get some rewards down the track.
“They’re writing their own story.”
Another to commit their future to the club was Senior Coach Stuart Dew who signed a two-year contract extension last month.
McGarry said she could see why Dew was an outstanding fit for the SUNS and could lead the club to its first AFL Finals campaign.
“I think Stuart Dew is amazing with the young group,” she said.
“He just seems like a calm influence over them which I think is a great way for him to coach particularly with a young group.
“You just feel like they’re bonding together and actually enjoy playing for one another and with one another. It seems like a nice vibe around the club.”
The SUNS have now passed the 15,000 membership milestone and are looking to set a new record before the official membership window closes at the end of August.