GOLD Coast ruckman Tom Nicholls has retired from football.

The inaugural Suns player managed 45 games for the club, having been recruited as an underage selection a decade ago, but has not featured at senior level since 2016.

"Tom has played a considerable role in establishing our football club as a foundation player and will always be part of our history and welcome anytime," Suns footy boss Jon Haines said.

Tom Nicholls training in the summer with Sam Day. Picture: AFL Photos

"He's a great character, has brought a lot to the playing group and wider Gold Coast community throughout his career and has been much loved by our players, staff, members and fans. We wish him all the best with his future endeavours."

Gold Coast is believed to be keen to bolster its ruck stocks following Nicholls' retirement and has been linked to a reunion with former player Zac Smith.

Nicholls played 17 games in the NEAFL this season and was named in the NEAFL team of the year.