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Gold Coast Suns History

In April 2008, a group headed by Gold Coast businessman John Witheriff and including former Brisbane Lions chairman Graeme Downie, officially applied for the 17th club licence in the AFL.  The group, dubbed ‘GC17’, was given six months to fulfil a range of criteria set down by the AFL, with a view to the new club entering the AFL competition in 2011.

The criteria, which included the acquisition of 20,000 committed supports and 111 sponsors, were all met by the group, and at the conclusion of the six months, on 13th October 2008, the group formally submitted its proposal to the AFL for consideration.

In the years leading up to the birth of the Suns, the AFL had expressed a strong desire to have a team based on the Gold Coast by 2011, and a provisional licence was awarded to the club in March 2009.  Initially the AFL had made an offer to the North Melbourne club to relocate to the Coast, although the Kangaroos ultimately rejected the proposal.  From a Gold Coast perspective, it may indeed be preferable to have a completely new team, one which has been born and developed locally, and which has more of a Gold Coast character about it as a result.

The team's original name, Gold Coast FC, and colours, red, gold and blue, were launched in early September 2008 at a gala function at the Southport Sharks club.


Last Modified:  30th March 2012

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