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What Stuart Dew wants from Gold Coast’s next captain

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 13: Stuart Dew, Senior Coach of the Suns chats to players during the Gold Coast Suns training session at Metricon Stadium on December 13, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 13: Stuart Dew, Senior Coach of the Suns chats to players during the Gold Coast Suns training session at Metricon Stadium on December 13, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
We've got some guys that are really thankful to get another opportunity, some guys from the draft that bring good energy and then we've got some players that have committed to the club and put their trust in us.
Senior Coach, Stuart Dew

Stuart Dew has opened up on what he wants from Gold Coast's next captain following the off-season departures of Tom Lynch and Steven May.

And top of the coach's wishlist is commitment to the Suns.

Dew's first season in charge was dogged by speculation surrounding the future of free agent Lynch and it's clear he doesn't want to go through that again.

It's also part of the reason the Suns were content to trade May to Melbourne with a year to run on his contract.

Speaking candidly from the team hotel on the final morning of a six-day pre-season camp in Queenstown, New Zealand, Dew told AFL.com.au he was open to either one or two captains.

Although he said ultimately the players would decide what type of leader they wanted to play for, Dew had some non-negotiables.

"Our leader needs to be really committed to the footy club and committed to building this environment," Dew said.

"It's not about kicks, marks and handballs for us, it's someone who's Gold Coast through and through and they're doing as much to create the environment as what staff and coaches are.

"That's going to be a real breath of fresh air, someone who'll give everything and do as much as we are in terms of recruiting players, retaining players, have their say in the program, the direction of the club, the strategy.

"There's a few more layers to it."

David Swallow, who was in last season's leadership group, recently signed a five-year contract extension, while it's believed fellow leaders Jarrod Witts and Touk Miller are also in advanced discussions to lock up their futures.

The formal process of identifying the next captain will begin in the new year with the announcement not expected until just prior to the first JLT Community Series match on March 3.

"We'll make sure everyone's had an opportunity to show what they've got and also for the group to understand what they want in a leader," Dew said.

"We are putting a fair bit into leadership across the group.

"The coaching staff can talk about what they want, but really the players want a certain type of leader."

The taxing pre-season camp showed the depth of voices in Gold Coast's playing group had developed in the past 12 months.

Aside from Witts, Swallow, Miller and Pearce Hanley, fourth-year midfielder Brayden Fiorini was another notable voice through the six days, happy to speak on behalf of the 46 players and to smaller groups about what was expected on each day.

"It probably took a little while to work out where some guys were at and being 12 months further down the road I think the guys we've got now really want to be here," Dew said.

"The buy-in to the footy club is what I've seen, the change, and that's grown as the year went on.

"We've got some guys that are really thankful to get another opportunity, some guys from the draft that bring good energy and then we've got some players that have committed to the club and put their trust in us."