Set to play his 100th game this weekend, SUNS co-captain Jarrod Witts has taken time to reflect on his journey in the AFL so far.
Taken by Collingwood with pick 67 in the 2011 draft, Witts managed just 40 games in five years at the Pies.
He wasn’t the first-choice ruckman and battled to lock down a spot in the best 22.
At the end of 2016, he was given a lifeline by the SUNS and hasn’t looked back since.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday afternoon, Witts said after his ascendance to the captaincy this year that he was proud to be a part of a building SUNS side.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for this footy club,” Witts said.
“They gave me an opportunity when not many were (willing to).
“I’m just obviously trying to show up every week and repay the faith.
“I think we’re building something, it just hasn’t come out consistently enough as we would have liked.
“But I’ve got full trust in everyone around this footy club that we’re all on the same line and we’re moving forward together in the same direction.
“Even though it hasn’t come out in games just yet, I’ve got full belief.”
There have been ups and downs throughout the years but Witts has recalled some standout memories from his career, including the time he almost missed his own debut game.
“My first game was against St Kilda on a Friday night at Etihad and I think I ran late to the game,” he laughed.
“That stuck out a little bit, I was stressing in traffic on Friday afternoon in Melbourne.
“In more recent times I think the win we had against Sydney on the SCG in front of all my family and friends that live down there was pretty special to me.
“Then obviously we had some really close wins at the start of the year and carried a lot of momentum through that early part.
“I’m looking to create another (memory) this weekend.”
That opportunity will be against an in-form Brisbane Lions outfit for QClash18 at the Gabba, and Witts says the team are hungry to cause an upset.
“We want to win this one pretty bad,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to play in front of a big atmosphere.
“To play in front of a packed stadium no matter where it is, it’s exciting.
“For it to be in a rival game against a team that’s going really well, there’s a lot of drive there to take them down.”
The match kicks off at 4:35pm this Saturday.