26/02/2024

David Swallow and Jarrod Witts will continue as co-captains of the Suns in 2021, Image: goldcoastfc.com.au

The Gold Coast Suns have settled on their leaders for season 2021, choosing experienced and loyal clubmen again to lead the young Suns this AFL season.

Just days before the commencement of their 2021 season the Gold Coast Suns have made a statement in extending the co-captaincy of stalwarts Jarrod Witts and David Swallow for another season. 

Two of the club’s most loyal contributors throughout their short history in the AFL, the re-appointment of the pair is a testament to their passion for the club and ability to lead what is a young and developing group. 

Speaking to the media, the club’s General Manager of Football Jon Haines could not speak highly enough of both Witts and Swallow as leaders. 

“David and Jarrod have both played significant roles in helping to lay the foundations for our football program in recent years and we’re looking forward to having them continue their development as leaders of the club,” Haines said. 

“They complement each other,  they work really well together and even though they are both different types of leaders in style, they are very complimentary of each other which has a great effect on the group, 

“Perhaps most importantly they are extremely invested in the club and see us have success and be apart of that and they are also incredibly driven to improve as leaders, 

“So we are absolutely wrapped to have them as the leaders of our football club and we’re really excited about what they can do this year.” 

Following the announcement, Swallow also fronted the media to describe the great sense of pride and accomplishment associated with being voted captain of the football club. 

“It is obviously a great honour and is very humbling,” Swallow said. 

“I take the responsibility [of being captain] very seriously so it is going to be great to share that with Jarrod and the remainder of the leadership group, 

“We are just looking forward to the year and the massive opportunity it will bring.” 

Along with announcing their co-captains, the club also revealed a smaller leadership group for the 2021 season with Touk Miller and Sam Collins stepping up as co vice-captains. 

Haines spoke of the decision to narrow the club’s leadership group to four for the upcoming season.

“The four guys that have been selected in the leadership group are really keen to drive accountability throughout the club and we felt from a conversation point of view that having a smaller group allows them to do that,” He said. 

“What it also allows is the group to take greater responsibility in terms of that shared responsibility and greater depth in leadership, so we feel we better equipped with those four guys driving accountability, driving standards and really drive where the club where it wants to go.” 

This is a sentiment ratified by Swallow who is excited to work with his three counterparts in the leadership group. 

“We certainly think we can streamline the messaging a bit better [with the smaller group],” He said. 

“As Jon eluded to we feel we have some great leaders below us that can help us out in driving the standards around the place so it certainly makes our job easier in focusing on what we need to do as a leadership group.” 

One of the biggest stories of this leadership announcement is the elevation of Sam Collins to a role as a vice captain. 

Haines said that he could not be more proud of the work that Collins has put in to get to this point as one of the senior figures of the club. 

“If you look at where [Sam] was a couple of years ago playing for Werribee but still playing great footy, the way he was leading back then is not too dissimilar to the way he leads now in an AFL environment,” He said. 

“He’s been able to continue his leadership development regardless of what environment he is in and he is incredibly well regarded by his peers and has an enormous influence both on and off the field,

“So it’s a testament to Sam and his family and how he’s been brought up and we are just wrapped he is at our football club.” 

The restructure of the group has also seen Alex Sexton and Brayden Fiorini relieved of their official leadership duties. 

Haines took the opportunity to thank the pair for the work they put in throughout what was a challenging 2020 campaign. 

“Alex and Brayden will always play an important role around the group, regardless of title,” He said. 

“They both played significant roles in leading the club through the COVID impacted season of 2020 and we expect they will continue to be key influencers within the playing group in 2021.”

The Suns will head to Perth to kick of their 2021 campaign against the West Coast Eagles on Sunday afternoon. 

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