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May named in players’ top 50

Steven May: a new breed of enforcer The Gold Coast captain comes in at no.41 in the Players' Top 50 countdown
The way football is going, it's a lot relationship-based and if you can learn to give feedback in the right way, certainly to the younger kids coming in, you get a huge spike in performance.
Steven May

He might be emerging as one of the competition's best key defenders, but arguably Steven May's biggest role in 2018 comes with his leadership.

The bull-chested Gold Coast captain has been recognised by his peers as the AFL's 41st best player in the 2018 Players' Top 50.

He is at the forefront of a huge season for the SUNS that might go a long way towards shaping their immediate future.

Stuart Dew was ushered in as the club's third coach in the off-season alongside other changes in key football roles, with inaugural football manager Marcus Ashcroft and list manager Scott Clayton replaced by Jon Haines and Craig Cameron respectively.

As one of eight SUNS still at the club since its inception, May needs to be just as strong off the field as he has been on it to guide Gold Coast through a travel-skewed season.

He has a quiet tone, but the 25-year-old's voice is the strongest in the SUNS’ changeroom.

"Last year I think the captaincy sort of got put on me, it wasn't something I was aiming for, so I wasn't sort of ready for it," May said late last year after his appointment.

"Now I've had a year to feel it.

"The way football is going, it's a lot relationship-based and if you can learn to give feedback, not only negative feedback, but positive feedback in the right way, certainly to the younger kids coming in, you get a huge spike in performance."

May will be looking to go one better in 2018 after he averaged 19.3 disposals over 18 games and registered two Brownlow votes to be the fifth-ranked key defender in the AFL Player Ratings last year.