Gold Coast VFL premiership captain Charlie Constable has labelled his side's grand final win over Werribee as a just reward from a "hard year" for the Carrara club.
The Suns clinched their first piece of silverware on Sunday at Princes Park in front of a rocking crowd that witnessed a final to remember.
The two best sides of the season, with the Tigers entering the match unbeaten since mid-April, the two clubs put on a tantalising four-quarter encounter that saw the fitter Suns run out winners after clinching the minor premiership.
Four unanswered goals to start the second half would be the difference as the lead blew out to 37 points only for a Shaun Mannagh-led Werribee outfit to keep the game alive in the final term
Constable would be captain on the day and steer his side to a famous victory, with the 24-year-old taking great pride in win.
"It feels really special," Constable told Zero Hanger after the 19-point win. "It's a credit to the footy club. It's probably been a tough year for everyone.
"To come away with the premiership, it's a great reward for hard work. So I'm really happy to be a part of it.
"We were super confident. We felt like we played a really good band of footy all year and we felt we had a team that gelled together really well.
"The vibe this morning was much like it's been through the last sort of six or eight weeks, just really fun. I think tonight will be fun too.
"The vibe around the VFL program here is amazing. The coaching staff make it so fun. All the boys that are down here would love to be playing AFL, but we play with a lot of pride in the twos. We're happy with the result."
Constable's role as stand-in skipper came in the wake of captain James Tsitas's one-game suspension for striking in the Suns' preliminary final win over Box Hill.
Despite a challenge of the Match Review Panel's charge before contesting the Tribunal's findings from their initial case, the suspension was upheld to rule the 28-year-old out of the season decider.
But the "heart-and-soul" midfielder would remain a positive light in one of the biggest weeks in his club's history, offering a mountain of help off the field in the build-up to their trip to Victoria.
The players would repay the favour, touching on Tsitas' impact to lead the Suns to the minor premiership and subsequently into the grand final.
As the players exited their changerooms on Sunday afternoon for the match, two Gold Coast kits with Tsitas' name and jumper number hung from the door in respect to their absent captain, who could only look on from the stands.
"We drew on James a lot during the week, he's sort of a heart-and-soul player at our footy club," Constable said.
"We were shattered that he couldn't be out there today, but he was great in the lead-up. He never dropped his head and stayed positive.
"He's a huge reason why we're here today, so it's a shame he couldn't be out there but he's as much a part of this as anyone."
Constable's spot on the dais alongside coach Josh Drummond could be the former Geelong Geelong midfielder's last moments as a Gold Coast player, with his future up in the air amid a period of uncertainty for a host of Suns.
The arrival of new coach Damien Hardwick is likely to see a shake-up of the Queensland club's list over the coming weeks, with the Suns set to partake in a ruthless review evaluation of its current crop as a number of members from the premiership-winning VFL side potentially in the firing line.
More than half of the side that out-muscled Werribee on Sunday are still unsigned for 2024, with Constable and Tsitas among the 13 players yet to know where their future lies.
After earning a career reprieve through the Suns two years ago following his culling at Kardinia Park, Constable understands the feeling of uncertainty but knew football would come first.
"Yeah you never know what the future holds, I'm just so happy that I landed at a really good footy club with good people," he said.
"It's just a great reward for hard work for everyone and I'm privileged to be a part of it.
"The Gold Coast is great, we'll see what happens. I don't have a contract currently but for now I'll just enjoy this with the boys and then whatever happens happens."
Constable would average 29.9 disposals, 6.6 marks, 3.3 inside 50s and 3.0 tackles per game at VFL level in 2023, ranking fifth in the competition for total possessions to earn a place at half-back in the 2023 VFL Team of the Year.
The Haileybury junior has played 16 AFL games since his debut as a Cat in 2019, with four of those appearances coming as a Sun.