SUNS captain Jarrod Witts has been cleared to play in Round 1 after successfully overcoming a pre-season foot injury.

With the AFL yesterday confirming the 2020 season would begin this weekend, Witts said he was excited to be back playing football.

“Initially it was a bit of a slow burn but I feel like we’ve made a few breakthroughs along the way and I was able to get a good solid training session in on Friday,” Witts told SUNS Media.

“That was effectively my game going in to this weekend so I feel really confident in my foot and the rest of my body.

“I managed to tick off all the things medically so now it’s game time.”

Witts has been sidelined since January with the injury – a fractured fifth metatarsal in his ankle – but was determined to stay integrated with the group.

“(It was) really important for me to stay involved as much as I can,” Witts said.

“In rehab you can sometimes get caught doing your own thing a little bit so for me it’s about trying to attend as many meetings as I can and stay involved with what the group’s trying to achieve.

“We’ve got a lot of young players so I’m trying to pass on my experience where I can.”

Despite missing a chunk of the pre-season, Witts has still noticed a deliberate increase in intensity from his teammates.

And from what he’s seen, the 27-year-old is confident the improvement is there.

“In terms of the way that we’ve attacked this year, again we’ve gone to another level,” he said.

“We‘ve got younger players who had really solid years last year starting to really put their footprint on the team and demand a higher standard of themselves and those around them.”

Gold Coast will play its Round 1 match against Port Adelaide at 6:40pm on Saturday night at Metricon Stadium.