Round 13 started with a tussle between a spirited Richmond and a developing Adelaide.
Gold Coast midfielder David Swallow has opted against following his high-profile teammates out the door, agreeing to a massive contract extension that will see him remain at the Suns until 2024.
The exits of co-captains Steven May and Tom Lynch to Melbourne clubs in the off-season wasn’t enough to sway the 2010 No.1 draft pick, who considers Gold Coast home.
The 25-year-old’s extension comes less than a month after older brother Andrew – a former North Melbourne captain – was added to the Suns’ coaching panel for 2019.
Alongside exciting pair Jack Martin and Touk Miller, Swallow was arguably the highest-profile member of the club off contract beyond next season.
Second-year coach Stuart Dew has been happy to cleanse the list after a 4-18 debut season, with Aaron Hall, Kade Kolodjashnij, Michael Barlow and Jarryd Lyons moved on and Matt Rosa retiring.
But it’s clear how highly the club rates the West Australian recruit, who has navigated past a serious knee injury to be one of the club’s most reliable players in a 117-game career.
“I’ve thought about it for a while now, I’m happy to get it done and looking forward to the next few years,” Swallow said.
“There has been a number of changes throughout the club in recent times and it’s going to be fresh for myself and everyone involved this year.
“The club is well placed, some good appointments in the coaching area and fitness staff.
“We’ve got a young list, that’s really tight, and driven for success.”