Gold Coast co-captain Jarrod Witts says its time for the AFL club to convert their reputation as a talented team into a winning one, backing emerging star Matt Rowell to handle the hype along the way.
The Suns have finished no higher than 12th since entering the league in 2011, but in just four complete games last season Rowell raised the bar before a shoulder injury ended his season.
Since coach Stuart Dew's arrival in 2018 the club has fortified its list with young talent on long-term deals and influential ruckman Witts believes an elusive top-eight finish is now within their grasp.
"The commentary has always been how talented we are, but it doesn't really mean anything," he told AAP.
"We need to turn it into wins and that's where it's got to be for us now."
Noah Anderson, Ben King, Izak Rankine and Jack Lukosius all showed glimpses of that talent last season but it's Rowell who has hogged the spotlight after claiming three consecutive best-on-ground gongs before his injury.
The midfielder, still just 19, is fit again and Witts said he appeared comfortable with carrying the burden of expectation - many are tipping he'll be in the Brownlow Medal hunt - on the Gold Coast.
"Everyone gave him a little bit of stick over his ambassador deal with Sherrin but he loves footy so what better way of celebrating that," Witts laughed of Rowell's rapidly-rising profile.
'And I'm confident he can handle any of that pressure; he's just such a hard trainer, puts so much into his craft.
"Sometimes in the past with guys like that you can worry if they've got a balance but he has that balance.
"He's great to catch up with outside of the club, has been getting into his golf and has a great bunch of mates around him."
The Suns begin their season on Sunday in Perth against West Coast, Witts hopeful his young side are fit and equipped to handle the AFL's new "stand" rule that will encourage more direct play.
Encouraging starts in the last three seasons have been followed by alarming late-season drifts so Witts won't be getting carried away.
"As you saw on Monday night (in a preseason loss to Brisbane) we've got a lot of work to do," he said.
"Time will tell but we think we've done the work to go for longer during the season. But we've still got to start positively and ride that for as long as we can."