At the end of a match his team almost threw away with forgettable goalkicking, it was fitting Gold Coast skipper David Swallow was the man to ice his side’s first victory of the year on Sunday.

Above anyone else, Swallow has encapsulated the SUNS' total overhaul ahead of the 2019 season.

He, along with co-captain Jarrod Witts, committed to another five years during the off-season, solidifying a club that has leaked players far too regularly in recent years.

Fellow leaders Touk Miller and most recently Alex Sexton have also put pen to paper long-term.

After badly hurting his knee in the opening round against St Kilda, Swallow had to jump through hoops during the week to prove his fitness to play Fremantle.

So, with his team sitting on a more-than-shaky 6.19 and trailing Fremantle by three points in the dying minutes, it was Swallow who had the chance to put his team in front from 35m.

The quietly-spoken West Australian didn't disappoint, calmly slotting the go-ahead goal before being mobbed by his teammates.

"Dave's just a massive competitor," Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said post-match.

"How professional he was to get the swelling out of that knee … by recovering well and preparing well, we set the bar really high for him.

"He's a ripper." 

Swallow almost didn't get the chance to kick the ultimate 'captain's goal', so poorly had his teammates been in front of goal earlier in the afternoon.

The third quarter was a horror show for the SUNS as they kicked eight straight behinds, at least six of which could be classified as gettable.

Jack Martin blotted an otherwise brilliant performance with two kicks he won't like watching again.

Firstly, he sprayed a left-foot snap wide from 20m out after Witts expertly palmed the ball into his path, and then even more egregiously failed to convert from 35m when an open goalsquare beckoned.

In between times four-goal hero Sexton also caught the disease, missing with two set shots from just inside 50m, while teenagers Jack Lukosius and Wil Powell also kicked wide with shots they will nail in the future.

"That added pressure comes on," Sexton told post-match.

"When you've missed four in a row and you're the one with the mark, you know you've got to kick it. You probably put the pressure on yourself.

"You've just got to move on and kick the next one.

"Belief is a massive word in this camp. That was the word that went through the group. 

Sexton said the forward line came together at the final change and talked about finishing off the good work of the midfielders.

Dew said it was about the players having a positive attitude. 

"The messaging is really important from within the group," he said. 

"We can say what we want from the cheap seats, but the players have to get it done. They just have to reset.

"We sold the message we had more shots in that quarter and didn't make them pay.

"It was pleasing they were able to put it aside and go again as a young group developing."

Martin was the first to turn the tide, evading tacklers and sprinting to his right before snapping truly from 30 metres.

That reduced the deficit to 11 points.

Sexton followed suit with a clever around-the-corner snap after playing on from a free kick, and then Swallow iced the cake with his first goal of the game.