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Top 10 for Suns as they expand leaders' group

AFL 2015 Training - Gold Coast 171215
Gary Ablett will skipper the Suns again in 2016

GARY Ablett will remain Gold Coast skipper in 2016 but the Suns have appointed three young players – Tom Lynch, Steven May and Dion Prestia – as joint vice-captains.

The club has adopted a new leadership model around Ablett with Michael Rischitelli, Nick Malceski, Jarrod Harbrow, Matt Rosa, David Swallow and Jaeger O'Meara also part of the 10-man leadership group.

The decision comes after a tumultuous year for the Suns under coach Rodney Eade in 2015.

The club conceded it lacked leadership and was forced to confront several cultural issues within the club.

Lynch wants Suns to emulate 'culture clubs'

Eade, entering his second year at the Suns, said it was the year the club had to have.

"Last year was a difficult year for our football club, but we believe it will be one of the most defining in our history," he said.

"Only time will tell how important the year was for our growth, but we believe we have taken some significant steps forward and put the right measures in place for sustained success."

Eade conceded the club did not have enough leaders in 2015 and he hoped the large leadership group would address that issue.

"This year we have a large group of players who have all put their hand up and want to accept the challenge to build a stronger, more accountable culture," he said.

Ablett played just six matches in 2015 as the Suns tumbled to 16th on the ladder with just four wins.

They traded out Harley Bennell and Charlie Dixon at season's end and recruited experienced West Coast midfielder Matt Rosa.

Ablett's leadership was questioned at times in 2015 but he proved the obvious choice as captain. 

"We were all well aware we needed to improve our leadership capacity, and we have made some real progress, but the job is not done yet," Ablett said.

"For me, to have these players taking the next step, both challenges and helps me become a better leader and ensures we are developing the future leaders."