A FORCED perspective from the stands allowed Jarrod Witts to believe Gold Coast's AFL journey was on an upward curve.

Sidelined for most of last season with an ACL injury, Witts can pinpoint the moment he was convinced the latest Suns' rebuild was going to end in something special and not just be another false dawn.

"The one that sticks out for me is the Richmond game where Jeremy Sharp was able to sneak forward, kick an important goal, he finished off some nice work late in the game," Witts told AAP.

"Those guys really stepped up on a bigger stage ... that's encouraging."

The round 16 triumph over the Tigers at Marvel Stadium was one of seven wins for the Suns in 2021.

That tally might not seem great but it was the best return the club has had in four seasons under coach Stuart Dew and was done without the services of co-captain Witts while gun youngster Matt Rowell also spent large portions of the campaign on the sidelines.

Fully recovered, the ruckman is set to make a welcome return for the Suns in Sunday's season opener against West Coast in Perth at the start of a campaign which Witts says feels different despite key forward Ben King's own ACL injury in pre-season.

Despite that setback, King has re-committed to the club with a new deal, a move which Witts says shows the Suns castle is not set to crumble into another rebuild as it did at the end of 2018 when co-captains Steven May and Tom Lynch both quit the Gold Coast.

"We've got the foundations there purely in the fact that we've got so much of the list signed on so you can get to work," he said.

"The core of the team is really buying in.

"You get that feel when you walk in the doors, everyone wants to be here and then we're loving what we're doing.

"Just got to keep that consistency and enjoyment factor throughout the year."

Witts will share the captaincy this season with Touk Miller after the All-Australian took over the leadership role from foundation player David Swallow - another sign of the squad's growth in Witts' opinion.

He's also looking forward to being aided in the ruck division by the recruitment of ex-Tiger Mabior Chol, giving the Suns an extra option in the contest they have desperately lacked.

"It means you can keep the pressure on in there," Witts said.

"He's pretty impressive ... he can do some pretty nice things at ground level which we've seen.

"To have a rotation with him and hopefully build a nice connection with him - that could evolve into all sorts of things.

"I'm excited with Choly, he's got a bit of X-factor about him and we just hope he brings that and brings his consistency."