Gold Coast Football Club
|Full name||Gold Coast Football Club|
|Leading goalkicker||Gary Ablett (26 goals)|
|Best and fairest||Gary Ablett|
|Colours||Red Gold Blue|
|Competition||Australian Football League|
|Captain(s)||Gary Ablett, Jr.|
|Ground(s)||Metricon Stadium (capacity: 25,000)|
|Current season: 2012|
The Gold Coast Football Club, nicknamed The Suns, is an Australian rules football franchise based on the Gold Coast, which began playing in the Australian Football League (AFL) competition for the first time in 2011. The club played its first game as a part of the AFL in the pre-season NAB Cup competition in February 2011 before beginning the season proper in April 2011.
The club is the product of a sole consortium, formerly known as "GC17", tendering against established criteria for a licence to be the 17th club in the AFL competition. On 31 March 2009 the club was granted a provisional licence to join the AFL competition and the AFL proposed that the new club would enter the national competition in the 2011 season. The following year, during a press conference on 22 July, the club announced its new nickname, logo, club song and three new home, away and clash guernseys.
In January 2008, it was reported that the AFL officially registered the name Gold Coast Football Club Ltd with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The registration was effective from 24 December 2007. The registration was of a public company limited by guarantees rather than by shares, the corporate personality common to 15 of 16 of the current AFL teams, the exception being the Fremantle Football Club. In March 2008, the AFL won the support of the league's 16 club presidents to establish a side on the Gold Coast and an 18th side in Western Sydney.
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou announced in early 2008 that the club could debut in the Queensland State League in 2009 as it recruits players and prepares for its debut season in the AFL. At one stage it was rumoured[who?] that Michael Voss would coach the Gold Coast team and that he had been offered a six-year contract. However, these rumours were proved false when Voss was appointed coach of the Brisbane Lions from the beginning of the 2009 season. Amongst the first players targeted by the Gold Coast were current St Kilda captain and Gold Coast junior Nick Riewoldt, Hawthorn forward and 2008 Coleman Medallist Lance Franklin and Adelaide forward Kurt Tippett.
Guy McKenna was appointed coach in August 2008. In early 2009, the Host Plus superannuation fund was named as the club's major sponsor. On 15 May 2009, it was announced that highly respected Essendon administrator Travis Auld would be the CEO of "GC17". Former Brisbane Lions Shaun Hart and Gold Coaster Marcus Ashcroft were also appointed to the coaching panel. On 1 October 2009, the club announced it had signed Guy McKenna as head coach until 2012.
In early 2009, the Queensland Government announced that it would contribute sufficient funds allowing the redevelopment of Gold Coast Stadium. The capacity of the new stadium will be 25,000 and is scheduled to be complete in May 2011. All home matches other than the games versus Brisbane Lions will be played at the new Gold Coast Stadium. They have also been confirmed to play their first AFL game at The Gabba in Round 2 against Carlton after a bye in Round 1. Their first game at the new stadium will be against Geelong in round 10, 2011. Also amongst the blockbuster games at home for the Suns in 2011 are both 2010 AFL Grand Finalists Collingwood and St Kilda (both of whom the Suns will only play once) and Geelong.
2009: TAC Cup 
The club's junior squad competed in the 2009 TAC Cup under 18 competition winning a number of games, eventually finishing in 5th place. They defeated the Northern Knights in the elimination final but then lost their semi final to the Geelong Falcons. These are the results and fixture for the 2009 season:
|Gold Coast Season 2009|
Inaugural TAC Cup team 
|Inaugural GC17 team (Round 1, 2009 season)|
|B:||Hamish Watts||James Nelis||Daniel Ramage|
|HB:||Jake Crawford||Matt Storey||Jesse Haberfield|
|C:||Joseph Daye||Josh Thomas||Todd Grayson|
|HF:||Taylor Rolfe||Matt Fowler||Luke Shreeve|
|F:||Rory Thompson||Liam Rutledge||Alik Magin|
|Foll:||Zac Smith||Marc Lock (c)||Damian Steven|
|Int:||Declan Bevan||Brad Rees||Mitch Harley|
|Jack Stanlake||Nick Price||Tyler Green|
2010: VFL 
In November 2009 the team signed twelve 17 year olds around the country to compete in the VFL year through the under age access rules. These players included Luke Russell (Burnie), Maverick Weller (Burnie), Taylor Hine (Calder), Josh Toy (Calder), Matt Shaw (Dandenong), Piers Flanagan (Geelong), Hayden Jolly (Glenelg), Alex Keath (Murray), Jack Hutchins (Sandringham), Tom Nicholls (Sandringham), Brandon Matera (South Fremantle), Trent McKenzie (Western Jets).
The Gold Coast was also given permission (by the AFL) to play David Swallow in 2010, despite not being the correct age. The deal that was struck with the AFL stated that Swallow would still need to go through the 2010 AFL Draft to officially join the team, while the other under age recruits contracts would run through 2011.
|Gold Coast Season 2010|
Inaugural VFL team 
|Inaugural GCFC team (Round 1, 2010 season)|
|B:||Matt Shaw||Jack Hutchins||Michael Gugliotta|
|HB:||Taylor Hine||Michael Coad||Maverick Weller|
|C:||Trent McKenzie||Marc Lock (c)||Luke Russell|
|HF:||Alik Magin||Charlie Dixon||Brandon Matera|
|F:||Liam Patrick||Nathan Ablett||Rex Liddy|
|Foll:||Zac Smith||Daniel Harris||Sam Iles|
|Int:||Danny Stanley||Rory Thompson||Hayden Jolly|
|David Swallow||Luke Shreeve||Joseph Daye|
2011: AFL debut 
Concessions on entry into the AFL 
|Year||Draft Picks||Senior List Size||Salary Cap Allowance||Zone Access||Notes|
|The club was allowed to sign up to twelve 17 year olds born between 1 January and 30 April 1992. The club also received the first 5 picks in the rookie draft.|
|2011||1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 26, 43||48||$1,000,000 extra||5 QLD||At the conclusion of the 2010 season the club was able to sign up to 16 current AFL players who were uncontracted for the 2011 season.The club was also allowed to sign up to 10 players who had previously elected for the national draft and weren't selected. The club also received the first 5 picks in the rookie draft.|
|2012||AFL Standard||46||$800,000 extra||5 QLD||-|
|2013||AFL Standard||42||$600,000 extra||AFL Standard||-|
|2014||AFL Standard||40||$400,000 extra||AFL Standard||-|
|2015||AFL Standard||AFL Standard||AFL Standard||AFL Standard||All concessions removed and the club operates like every other team in the AFL.|
Inaugural AFL team 
|Inaugural Gold Coast team (Round 2, 2011 season)|
|B:||Seb Tape||Nathan Bock||Campbell Brown|
|HB:||Jarrod Harbrow||Karmichael Hunt||Nathan Krakouer|
|C:||Trent McKenzie||Daniel Harris||Michael Rischitelli|
|HF:||Danny Stanley||Charlie Dixon||Alik Magin|
|F:||Jared Brennan||Zac Smith||Brandon Matera|
|Foll:||Josh Fraser||David Swallow||Gary Ablett (c)|
|Int:||Marc Lock||Harley Bennell||Dion Prestia|
2011 season summary 
Gold Coast had a bye in Round 1, and played its first AFL game debuted in Round 2 on 2 April 2011 against Carlton at the Gabba in front of a crowd of 27,914. The first five goals were scored by Carlton, before Charlie Dixon scored the first ever goal for the Gold Coast Suns. Carlton went on to win by 119 points. Gold Cost won its first game in Round 5 on 23 April 2011, defeating Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium. Gold Coast trailed by 40 points late in the third quarter, before coming back to win by three points, after Port Adelaide's Justin Westhoff missed a set shot after the siren. Michael Rischitelli was the best on ground.
Gold Coast won two more matches for the season, winning the inaugural QClash against Brisbane Lions in Round 7 by eight points, and defeating Richmond by 15 points in Round 17 in the first AFL match ever played at Cazaly's Stadium in Cairns. However, the Suns also suffered several more very heavy defeats during the year, including a 139-point loss to Essendon in Round 6 – in which Essendon scored a record 15.4 (94) in the first quarter – and a 150 point loss against Geelong in Round 20. The Suns went on to win the wooden spoon.
2012 season summary 
Gold Coast endured a poor pre-season in 2012 which included a 13-point loss to fellow AFL newcomers Greater Western Sydney. Their solitary win in that time was a narrow win over Melbourne in the triangular round of the 2012 NAB Cup.
The home-and-away season did not begin well for the Suns either, losing their first fourteen matches in succession to be the only winless team after Round 15 of the 2012 AFL season. Among the losses included losses by more than ninety points to Collingwood and St Kilda (twice), seven-point losses to Fremantle and North Melbourne at home and a 27-point loss to the newest AFL franchise, Greater Western Sydney. Their fourteen losses to start the season was the worst by any team since Fremantle lost its first 17 matches of the 2001 season. Their horror start to the season ended in round 16 with a narrow 2 point win against Richmond. They had a lead of up to 36 points halfway through the second quarter, which then shrank to 24 points after 2 quick goals before half time from Richmond. Richmond then had a six to two goal quarter, snatching the lead back. The lead then went to 18 points Richmond's way before Gold Coast snatched it back to just 4. With 5 seconds left, a kick from the right forward pocket in Gold Coast's 50 was marked by Karmichael Hunt. After the siren sounded he kicked the goal to make Gold Coast 2 point winners.
The Suns then won two more matches for the season, a 30-point win against Greater Western Sydney in Round 20 and a 12-point upset win over Carlton in Round 22, both at home. The team finished 17th at the end of the season, only above Greater Western Sydney on the AFL ladder.
Membership base and sponsorship 
The Gold Coast Suns played their first Australian Football League game in the 2011 AFL Premiership Season in Round 2 of Season 2011 in Brisbane at The Gabba, against high profile Victorian team Carlton. The Suns attracted their biggest ever home crowd at that game. The Suns achieved their first AFL win in Round 5 against the Port Adelaide Power. They also hosted the inaugural QClash at the same venue against rival side the Brisbane Lions in front of 25,504 fans. The Suns ended up winning the game. The Suns moved into their home stadium on the Gold Coast, Metricon Stadium in time for their Round 10 clash against the Geelong Cats. Despite just winning 3 games in their opening 15 matches and finishing in last place on the AFL ladder.
|Year||Members||Change from previous season||Finishing position||Average home crowd (excluding finals)||Major Sponsor|
|2011||14,064||—||17th (last)||19,169||HostPlus, Virgin Australia|
|2012||11,204||2,855||17th||13,645||HostPlus, Virgin Australia|
|2013||12,1141||990||—||13,8321||HostPlus, Virgin Australia|
1 as at 16 May 2013
Club symbols 
The three types of guernseys are:
The Suns' Mascot Manor representative and club mascot is Sunny Ray.
A three-man committee of former Brisbane Lions chairman Graham Downie, Southport Sharks director Alan Mackenzie and lawyer and community leader John Witheriff will establish the club's administration. As part of the AFL bid criteria, the GC17 consortium required a commitment from 20,000 locals to become football club members, a $5 million net asset base and 111 sponsors (at least one major, 10 secondary level and 100 tertiary) by mid-October 2008.
In the leadup to the 2009 AFL Draft, the AFL allowed the Gold Coast to recruit 12 players born between January and April 1992, with all other AFL clubs being restricted to players born in 1991 or earlier.
Karmichael Hunt, a former professional rugby league player with the Brisbane Broncos and rugby union side Biarritz Olympique in France's Top 14, was signed to swap codes to play for the Gold Coast from 2010.
Gary Ablett, Jr., dual premiership player with Geelong and winner of the 2009 Brownlow Medal, signed a deal reportedly worth $9.6 million over five years to captain the Gold Coast during their starting years.
Other significant signings to the current junior team that played in the VFL included Stanis Susuve (a member of Papua New Guinea's International Cup winning team) and Brandon Matera (whose father Wally Matera and uncles Peter and Phil all played senior AFL football with the West Coast Eagles).
At the end of 2010 season, the club had been given the following concessions:
- The ability to sign one uncontracted player from each of the 16 AFL clubs
- Zoned access to five Queensland players prior to the AFL draft
- The first pick in every round plus additional first round picks at Numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13 and 15 of the 2010 AFL Draft
- The capacity to pre-list 10 players who had previously nominated for the AFL Draft, or were previously listed with an AFL club
- The first five selections of the Rookie Draft
- An expanded main list of 48 players (clubs are usually allowed 38)
Initial 2011 playing squad recruitment 
Current squad 
Gold Coast Football Club
|Senior list||Rookie List||Coaching staff|
Updated: 31 October 2012
Current Coaching staff 
- Senior coach: Guy McKenna
- Assistant coaches:
Reserves team 
A reserves team compete in the Northern Conference of the North East Australian Football League and have done so since the inaugural 2011 NEAFL season. Despite large emphasis being put on youth players development in the seniors team, the reserves team have made the NEAFL finals series every season they have competed but are yet to make a Grand Final.
Honour board 
|Year||Pos||Coach||Captain||Club Champion||Leading goalkicker||Iron Man Award||Community Award||Most Professional||Most Improved||NEAFL Player of the Year|
|2009||5/13||Guy McKenna||Marc Lock||Marc Lock||Matt Fowler (43)||Todd Grayson||–||Zac Smith||-|
|2010||10/14||Guy McKenna||Marc Lock||Sam Iles||Charlie Dixon (22)
Brandon Matera (22)
|2011||17/17||Guy McKenna||Gary Ablett, Jr.||Gary Ablett, Jr.||Danny Stanley (20)||Michael Rischitelli||Alik Magin||Michael Rischitelli||Karmichael Hunt||Jacob Gillbee|
|2012||17/18||Guy McKenna||Gary Ablett, Jr.||Gary Ablett, Jr.||Gary Ablett, Jr. (26)||Kyal Horsley||Jarrod Harbrow||Kyal Horsley||Harley Bennell||Alik Magin|
Club records 
Club honours 
- Finalists: 2009
- Premierships (0):
- Runners-Up (0):
- Minor Premiership (0):
- Finals Series Appearances (0):
- Wooden Spoons (1): 2011
Match records 
- Highest score: Gold Coast 21.22 (148) v Greater Western Sydney 16.8 (104), Round 5, 2013, StarTrack Oval
- Greatest winning margin: 60 points – Gold Coast 16.18 (114) v Melbourne 7.12 (54), Round 7, 2013, Melbourne Cricket Ground
- Greatest losing margin: 150 points – Gold Coast 6.2 (38) v Geelong 29.14 (188), Round 20, 2011, Kardinia Park
- Longest winning streak: 2 Games (Round 7, 2013 - Round 8, 2013)
- Longest losing streak: 21 - Round 18, 2011 – Round 15, 2012
- Highest ladder position (end of round): 7th - Round 1, 2013
- Highest ladder position (end of season): 17th of 18th, 2012 AFL Season
- Lowest ladder position (end of season): 17th of 17th (Wooden Spoon), 2011 AFL Season
Individual awards 
All-Australian team representatives 
Leigh Matthews Trophy 
Suns TV 
Suns TV is a television program hosted by Jessica Skarratt that is carried by the Seven Network and is shown thirty minutes prior to Gold Coast Suns games in Queensland. The program features highlights as well as interviews with players and coaches in the lead up to the match being played that week.
See also 
- Sport in Australia
- Sport in Queensland
- Australian Rules Football
- Australian rules football in Queensland
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- Attendance Summary
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- Gold Coast Football Club website
- Southport Sharks website
- 2010 VFL results page at goldcoastfc.com.au