Leadership shake-up at Gold Coast in 2019?

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ONE GOLD Coast captain is going and if Mark Evans’ words are anything to go by, there could be a leadership shake-up at the Suns ahead of the 2019 season. 

At Friday’s media conference following Tom Lynch’s announcement he wanted out, Evans said the Suns would have to prioritise what sort of leaders they wanted in the future.

He denied the club got the Lynch-Steven May appointments wrong, but the track record at the club is not good.

Dion Prestia was a vice-captain when he left in 2016, Gary Ablett a six-year captain that left in 2017 (after he relinquished the role 12 months earlier) and now Lynch, a co-captain of two seasons, is on the way out.

Gold Coast faces the prospect of a similar circus to the one that followed Lynch this year with Steven May next season.

May is set to become a free agent, and Evans hinted the club would try hard to extend the robust defender’s deal in the off-season.

“It’s fair to say that when we get to the end of this season we’ve got to have some strong conversations, collectively as a group, about what we want to achieve at this club and what leadership means in regards to that, and whether players want to commit or do they want to hold out the option to have player movement,” he said.

“That’s for us to discuss.

“That’s not a one-day thing, but that’s something for us to make sure we’ve progressed so that by the time we get to the start of next year and we’ve named our new leadership group that we’re a little more advanced than where we are now.”

Not only May, but current leadership member David Swallow is also out of contract in 2019 and set to become a free agent.

Gold Coast has gone about developing its younger leaders, and AFL.com.au believes it was those younger players that made their voices most known when Lynch informed them of his decision.

It wasn’t a tongue-lashing, but not far off according to one source, while the older players remained relatively quiet.

“We need to create that environment and some absolute commitment around what the leadership of that environment means,” Evans said.

“If it’s too late for Tom Lynch, then we need to do that for the next crew of leaders around this place.”

The Suns’ leadership includes May, Swallow, Jarrod Witts, Touk Miller, Matt Rosa, Michael Barlow and Pearce Hanley.

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