It's early in season 2024 but the sun is rising on a new era at the Gold Coast.

After landing three-time premiership coach Damien Hardwick to lead the club, the Suns have already shown immense change in the little time they've spent together.

Starved of September action, the AFL world is hoping that Hardwick can usher his new side to the finals for the first time in their history, albeit not at the expense of their club.

But what we've seen in the opening two rounds is exciting, to say the least, with a new brand of football sweeping through the corridors at Carrara.

Aside from the hot start from Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson, Ben King and Touk Miller to name a few, it is what the Suns are doing as a collective that's more telling.

As we've come to learn, Hardwick bases his game style on intensity and effort, with a strong focus on applying pressure to the opposition.

Indicators for such a method include intercepts, one percenters, clearances, contested possessions and tackles.

The small sample size we've received so far is that the Suns are going well above average and their pair of wins against Richmond and Adelaide are a testament to that.

Despite late-game fadeouts, Hardwick has his side humming and these stats prove it.

Gold Coast ranks first in one percenters and clearances, second in intercepts and contested possessions and fourth in disposals.

The club also sits ninth in tackles.

Albeit the beginning of a long season, Hardwick is pleased with how his club began 2024 but understands there's still plenty of work to do.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Head coach Damien Hardwick during a Gold Coast Suns AFL training session at Austworld Centre Oval on February 27, 2024 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

“We're doing some things really, really well and there are other things that we need to improve at," Hardwick said post-game against the Crows.

"The game interconnects. So there is one simple thing that you can do and all of a sudden, can take away your offence killing your defence or vice versa but there are some things that we identified that can make us better.

"The great thing about our coaching group is they understood it, the players amended it and then they executed it, which is really important.

"So where we're at? We still have a long way to go. We're two rounds in, and we've played two sides who are vying for the same positions we are in the eight, so it's always pleasing to win.

"We're winning at home and now we get to travel away."

The contrast from how 'Dimma' has the Suns playing to previous campaigns is stark.

But the arrival of some unheralded players to the party is the epitome of what has changed up on the Gold Coast that is driving the standards higher.

Hardwick lauded the efforts of half-forwards Tom Berry and Nick Holman, who play in arguably the toughest position on the ground.

Expected to apply pressure, force turnovers and run in between the arcs, the role of the half-forward is difficult, to say the least.

It's not the most glamorous responsibility on the field but is the nucleus of a successful football team.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Lachlan Sholl of the Crows is tackled by Thomas Berry of the Suns during the 2024 AFL Round 01 match between the Gold Coast SUNS and the Adelaide Crows at People First Stadium on March 16, 2024 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"That's why he is in the side," Hardwick spoke of Berry.

"He does that role really well, he's got incredible speed, he's a physical specimen of a player that can create those (moments).

"He's exactly what we are after for that style of role, the ability to play it and execute it to a really high level... those pressure forwards are really important to us."

Hardwick's praise for Holman also came in droves, suggesting that dismissing a "horrific" cut lip to continue playing is indicative of where the club is heading.

"Nick Holman, the cut he had to his mouth was horrific, but how he came on after that for mine, is a testament to the sort of guy he is and the sort of player we want playing for our footy club," the Suns coach added.

"I look at it and think he is a braver man than I am."

Suns academy graduate Bodhi Uwland has also flown under the radar, given his infancy at the elite level.

Uwland has played in five games since being taken with Pick 37 in the 2022 Rookie Draft and is flourishing in the backline under Hardwick.

"He's playing on some really good players, which is great," the Tigers premiership coach said.

"You know, he rises to the challenge. He doesn't say much, Bodhi, but he's one of those guys I love because he doesn't have to say much but you just see the way he plays.

"I think he's one of those players our fans are going to love... he gives absolutely everything. A bit like Nick Holman."

The Suns will take their form on the road as they head to Mars Stadium in Victoria's country town of Ballarat, where they'll face the winless Western Bulldogs.