As David Swallow gets set to make history this weekend at Heritage Bank Stadium, SUNS Media have taken the opportunity to look back on the journey to 200 games for one of the club’s favourite sons.
EARLY DAYS & DEBUT
He’s been at the club since the beginning, taken at Pick 1 in the 2010 AFL Draft from East Fremantle on November 18, 2010 after a stellar 2009 in which he was named in the Under 18 All-Australian team, also taking home the Larke Medal as the Under 19 National Championships best player.
By virtue of alphabetical order, Swallow is listed as Gold Coast SUNS player #20 but he is the only remaining SUN who ran out for the club’s first AFL match against Carlton at the Gabba on April 2, 2011 – fittingly 12 years ago to the day from Sunday’s milestone match.
A then 18-year-old Swallow had 17 touches, four tackles and a handful of contested possessions on debut.
After establishing himself as one of the AFL’s finest young talents, which included a fourth-place finish in the 2011 Rising Star count, Swallow earned the biggest accolade of his young career becoming just the club’s second AFL Club Champion in 2014.
A title that had been won by SUNS life member Gary Ablett Jr. for three straight years, Swallow etched his number in club history with a sparkling campaign.
He polled in 21 of the 22 matches for the season, highlighted by a 37-disposal, two-goal performance against Adelaide in Round 11 and another monster outing against Collingwood in Round 16. He would also go on to earn a berth in that season’s 22Under 22 team.
That outing against Collingwood would also be one of two matches in which the milestone man has earned three Brownlow Medal votes. The other best-on came in the final match of the 2022 season on the back of 33 touches and a goal against North Melbourne.
His 2014 Club Champion title was the highlight in a litter of honours won on the SUNS’ night of nights having recorded nine top-10 finishes from his 12 campaigns, as well as three Players’ Player gongs.
In 2020, he became the third player to receive GC SUNS life membership following his 150th game for the club.
Ask anyone close to him, they’ll tell you he was born to be a leader and in 2019 he joined Jarrod Witts as GC SUNS captains – a title he would hold for three seasons before stepping aside for Touk Miller ahead of the 2022 season.
Speaking at the time of the announcement, CEO Mark Evans praised Swallow’s investment in the football club and that’s something that hasn’t wavered since.
“His commitment to his team and his mates (makes him the footballer he is),” Evans said ahead of this weekend’s game.
“You wouldn’t mind him taking the limelight somewhere in his 200 games, maybe this week’s about him.”
BY THE NUMBERS
199 games and counting in the red & gold – how does that read out on the stats sheet?
- 4,162 disposals
- 1,981 contested possessions
- 849 tackles
- 699 inside 50s
- 293 one percenters
- 87 goals
And remarkably, 40 hitouts.
WHAT MAKES DAVE THE FOOTBALLER HE IS?
“His dedication and passion for the game” – Andrew Swallow, brother
“A man of integrity. He always had time for his teammates and his teammates’ families” – Gary Ablett Jr., former teammate
“He’s the same person on and off the field, which sounds a bit ridiculous, but his care factor is what makes him the player he is. He’d do anything for the team on field and he would off it too” – Touk Miller, SUNS captain
“His professionalism, it’s the reason why he’s captained the club for such a long time and why he’s got to where he is today” – Trent McKenzie, former teammate
“The way he plays with so much passion and desire to win” – Noah Anderson, teammate
“He got straight to work and earned everybody’s respect. He doesn’t look a day over 18” – Jarrod Harbrow, SUNS life member
If you want to find out a bit more about what makes the man tick, visit the GC SUNS social media channels for some insights from family, friends, coaches and teammates.
HOW CAN YOU JOIN IN ON THE CELEBRATIONS?
SUNS members check your emails for information around this Sunday’s game against Geelong at Heritage Bank Stadium, including a Dave cut-out mask to print and bring to the game.
All the match day information can be found here with the first bounce at 2.10pm on Sunday.