The Gold Coast SUNS have today announced the club’s leadership group with Jarrod Witts and Touk Miller to captain the team for the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
A 2021 All Australian midfielder and reigning Club Champion, Miller has been elevated to the position after David Swallow decided the time was right to hand over the captaincy duties.
Swallow, who had captained the side for the past three years alongside Witts, informed his teammates this morning that he had made the decision to step down and hand over the reins to Miller.
Miller, 25, currently in his eighth season of AFL football and after five years of being part of the club’s leadership group, spoke emphatically about the honour bestowed upon him.
“It’s extremely humbling and obviously I’m super grateful. I have a lot of love for this club and want to serve it as best I can,” Miller said.
“I'm thrilled that the playing group and the club have put the trust in me to lead us alongside Jarrod and I’m really looking forward to what's ahead.
“We've got some young leaders that are starting to emerge in both their football and off the field, which will put us in good stead for an exciting future.”
Witts will lead the club for a fourth season, one where he will look to jump back into the category of one of the competition’s elite ruckmen after a season-ending knee injury in 2021.
“It's a great honour, one that I've never taken for granted and I really cherish each moment I get to lead. We've got a great group of young players and I look forward to seeing the progress we can make as a team this year,” Captain Jarrod Witts said.
“To be announced alongside Touk, someone who has done all the work, deserves the opportunity and is ready to grab it with both hands, is a great thrill.”
Sam Collins will remain in his role of Vice-Captain, with Swallow to continue to be an integral part of the leadership group, alongside three new faces.
Defender Sean Lemmens, forward Nick Holman and third-year midfielder Noah Anderson will also join Witts and Miller as part of the seven-person leadership group in 2022.
“We've got real layers with our leadership now, it gives us better coverage across the whole playing group,” Witts said.
“Noah is a really impressive young man and I'm sure he's going to have a strong impact for us this year and the same with Nick and Sean, they're going to really compliment the group and help drive us forward.”
General Manager of Football Performance Wayne Campbell took the opportunity to recognise Swallow and his selfless, club-first act.
“It’s a testament to Dave and his selfless, team-first attitude. He stepped up to lead this club during a tough period and now makes the decision to put the club first and pass the baton over to Touk, to lead the club into an exciting new phase in its journey,” Campbell said.
“It’s clear to see the leadership qualities that both Jarrod and Touk have, and we’re excited by the opportunity that presents them to lead our club into the next phase of our development.
“The players and football department staff voted on who should be in the leadership group and we believe this group can continue to build on our connection as team and ensure we are more ruthless in every aspect of what we do.”