Gold Coast Suns celebrate the 2023 Smithy's VFL premiership triumph. Picture: Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos

History was made as the Gold Coast Suns took almost all before them during the 2023 Smithy's VFL season to secure the first premiership in the club's history.


Position: Premiers
W-L-D (%): 19-2 (175.0%)
Players used: 49
Played every match: 2 – Sandy Brock and Caleb Graham
AFL players used: 34
Debutants: 15 – Connor Blakely, Taine Dawson, Will Derrington, Will Graham, Finn Hay, Bailey Humphrey, Campbell Lake, Sean Lemmens*, Leo Lombard, Ben O’Brien, Wil Powell*, Ethan Read, Jake Rogers, Nick Williams and Josh Young (*previously played NEAFL)


J.J. Liston Trophy votes: Sam Flanders (12), Brayden Fiorini (11), Charlie Constable (10), Ned Moyle (10)
Coaches MVP votes: Charlie Constable (52), Chris Burgess (34), Brayden Fiorini (33)
VFL Team of the Year representatives: Chris Burgess, Charlie Constable, Caleb Graham and Brodie McLaughlin
Goalkickers: Chris Burgess (61), Brodie McLaughlin (55), Mabior Chol (40)


(Averages – minimum 6 matches)

Disposals: Sam Flanders (34.3), Charlie Constable (29.9), Connor Blakely (22.7)
Kicks: Charlie Constable (20.3), Sam Flanders (19.3), Jeremy Sharp (14.0)
Handballs: Sam Flanders (15.0), Connor Blakely (13.3), Alex Davies (12.5)
Marks: Sam Flanders (8.2), Caleb Graham (8.2), Jeremy Sharp (8.0)
Tackles: Alex Davies (6.5), Sam Flanders (5.5), Tom Berry (4.8)
Hitouts: Ned Moyle (38.5), Chris Burgess (10.2), Mabior Chol (1.9)
Clearances: Sam Flanders (6.5), Alex Davies (6.0), Connor Blakely (5.4)
Inside-50s: Sam Flanders (4.2), James Tsitas (4.2), Jeremy Sharp (3.8)
Rebound-50s: Charlie Constable (4.6), Joel Jeffrey (4.5), Bodhi Uwland (3.7)


History was made as the Suns took almost all before them with what was widely rated as one of the strongest VFL teams of the modern era. They stayed almost perfectly healthy, which allowed them to average a tick under 20 AFL-listed players in their 23 each week. That proved an almost impossible team to beat as they regularly put opponents to the sword with devastating bursts of goals throughout games that left rivals wondering what had hit them. The Suns averaged 117.3 points per game and won four matches by over 100 points and another six by more than 50. Chris Burgess and Brodie McLaughlin kicked more than 50 goals to share the Frosty Miller Medal, the first time the feat has been achieved by teammates. Charlie Constable and Caleb Graham joined the duo in the VFL Team of the Year but there were a host of other Suns who could consider themselves stiff to miss out.


The Suns were three points short of a perfect season, giving up a seven-goal lead to lose to Werribee in Round 9 after just escaping a similar comeback from Southport the previous week. They were also ambushed by Essendon in the Bombers’ return to Windy Hill in the upset of the season but still only lost by a point after the siren. Captain James Tsitas’ suspension in the preliminary final that sadly cost him a premiership medal and the chance to lift the cup with coach Josh Drummond, plus the early knee injury to Jake Stein, were the only blips on a perfect September Sunday at IKON Park.


Virtually faultless. It’s only the aforementioned three points that costs them a perfect score. The Suns finally have some silverware in their cabinet after qualifying for their first Grand Final at any level and duly saluting. The premiership triumph will be a major boost to the confidence of this young club going forward to know what they can achieve if everything comes together as planned. They had to strike while the iron was hot, with nine premiership players already confirmed as having departed the club through either trade, delisting or recruitment by next-door neighbour Southport. That includes guns such as Burgess, McLaughlin, Constable, Mabior Chol and Connor Blakely. 




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