Suns' AFL lifer Swallow hailed by Dew

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Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew cannot hide his admiration for David Swallow as the Suns' foundation player prepares to equal the AFL club's appearance record.

Swallow is one of three players along with Sam Day and Rory Thompson to have been with the Suns from the start of their AFL journey in 2011 who is still at the club.

On Sunday against Essendon, the 29-year-old Swallow will join Jarrod Harbrow on 192 matches for the Suns.

It's an achievement Dew is happy to laud given Swallow's journey from No.1 draft pick, through serious knee injuries, to being a key plank of the team's quest to secure a maiden AFL finals berth in 2022.

"He's a Gold Coast Suns lifer ... what he represents for this footy club is absolute team-first selflessness," Dew said of the man who was co-captain of the Suns until handing over the role to midfielder Touk Miller ahead of this season.

"The way he led the club through that time when we knew we were in for some pain, he led the boys on and off the field.

"Then even to hand over the captaincy, which I think has allowed him to have his best year of footy, can't be underestimated.

"I've got a big crush on the way he goes about playing footy but also the way he handles himself around the footy club.

"Harbs was exactly the same and I'm sure that he's happy to see Dave equal him and then beyond.

"It's a great moment for the footy club and he's got so much footy left in him. It's exciting. He's been around forever but he's got so much to give."

Swallow's 192nd game will be a pivotal one for the Suns as they try to stay in the race for the top eight.

Last weekend's thrilling after-the-siren comeback win over Richmond has Gold Coast 11th on the ladder, four-points behind the eighth-placed Tigers.

That victory against the Tigers was the Suns' eighth of the season, a number they've never bettered in their 12 seasons of AFL football.

But Dew, who will coach his 100th game on the weekend, said simply setting a new benchmark for the club wasn't his player's aim.

"We want to clock up as many as we can," he said.

"I feel like this crew is chasing a bit more than just beating what's been before.

"Where that ends is obviously up to us."

Livewire forward Izak Rankine is set to return after missing the Tigers' win due to AFL health and safety protocols in place of hamstrung Malcolm Rosas.

Oleg Markov is also available after missing out due to health and safety protocols last week and Rory Atkins could come into contention after coming on for Rosas as the medical sub against the Tigers.

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