David Swallow and Jarrod Witts will lead the Suns in 2019.
David Swallow and Jarrod Witts will lead the Suns in 2019. Chris Hyde

Actions louder than words for Suns skippers

NEW Gold Coast co-captains David Swallow and Jarrod Witts have vowed to let their actions do the talking in the quest to transform the Suns into an AFL premiership force.

Still scarred by the off-season exits of 2018 co-captains Tom Lynch and Steven May, the Suns have embarked on a new era with the naming of Swallow and Witts at the head of an eight-man leadership group.

While vice-captains Touk Miller and Pearce Hanley and fellow group members Jarrod Harbrow, Alex Sexton, Brayden Fiorini and George Horlin-Smith will provide support, the quietly-spoken duo will carry the burden of leading the Suns out of the competition cellar.

The 26-year-olds have earned the trust of coach Stuart Dew after recently recommitting to the club until the end of 2024 and said they would look to build on the traits that secured their captaincy partnership.

"Probably my strengths are just to lead by actions and I'll continue to do that out on the field and throughout the footy club," midfielder Swallow, who arrived at the club in 2010 ahead of their inaugural season, said.

"There's always areas to improve so I'll probably look to improve my speaking and talking up a bit more in meetings and that sort of stuff. That's the advantage of having the leadership group - everyone brings their strengths - and together I'm really confident we'll form a great team.

"(The captaincy) is obviously very humbling and it's quite a proud moment for myself. Being here from the start I just really want to continue getting this club to succeed.

Suns co-captains Jarrod Witts and David Swallow. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Suns co-captains Jarrod Witts and David Swallow. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

"I'm really confident with the program and where it's at, and with the leaders coming through, that we will see success in the near future. I'm just rapt to be part of that and stoked that me and Jarrod can really drive that together."

Former Collingwood ruckman Witts has come of age since joining the Suns in 2017, finishing inside the top 10 in the club's best and fairest last season after being elevated to the leadership group.

"Did I see (the captaincy) coming? I'm not too sure," the 209cm giant said.

"I was part of the leadership group last year and I just tried to build from there. I'll be pushing to grow the team and our on-field success.

"By coming up here a couple of years ago and being able to get some continuity in my game and build from there, I think that allowed my leadership to grow. "I'm similar to Dave, I will try to lead by actions on the field and get guys to follow from there.

"With Dave, I think we have a really good relationship and we'll be able to bounce things off each other moving forward. I'm really excited and really honoured."

Dew said the approach to deciding on the new captains was unaffected by the departures of Lynch and May.

"(The process focused on) greater education around who we want to lead the football club and making sure the players understand what good leadership is. We didn't really reference the past," Dew said.

"We've been on a bit of a leadership journey the last six months so we'll continue that. It's never done."