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Gold Coast's milestone man repays the faith

David Swallow will play his 100th game for the Suns against Fremantle - AFL,David Swallow,Gold Coast Suns,Optus Stadium
David Swallow will play his 100th game for the Suns against Fremantle
The club was really good and stuck by me and I guess I just wanted to repay the faith
David Swallow

DAVID Swallow has been through more than most in his time at Gold Coast, but on the eve of his 100th game, says he never really contemplated going elsewhere.

Swallow was the No.1 pick in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft and came to the Suns from Western Australia 12 months earlier to play in the fledgling club's VFL team.

That's eight years on the Gold Coast all up – only Rory Thompson has played as long – and Swallow has seen everything from the first game, first win, sacked coaches, big losses to a new training facility.

On a personal front he has won a best and fairest in 2014 and then missed most of 2015 and all of 2016 with recurring knee problems.

Swallow will run out for the 100th time against Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday night and conceded he wasn't sure he'd ever reach the milestone.

"Obviously there were times when I was struggling to get my body right and it (doubt) does creep into your mind, but the body's feeling really good at the moment and I'm enjoying being out there," he said.

While most of Gold Coast's under-17 access selections and initial draft crop have left, Swallow has stayed.

He said the Suns' support when he was going through the injuries played a big role in his loyalty.

"I had those injuries at a funny time. When I thought I was starting to find my feet I had those unfortunate couple of years," he said.

"The club was really good and stuck by me and I guess I just wanted to repay the faith.

"I think the club's in a really good position at the moment with everyone on board, so it's exciting."

Gold Coast has won its first two matches under new coach Stuart Dew, playing a pressuring, defensive style of game that hasn't been seen in the club's first seven years.

Swallow is fitting in nicely, mixing his bull-at-a-gate midfield style with more time in the forward half.

He said he was excited about playing at Optus Stadium, something the Suns will do in successive rounds with a match against West Coast the following week.

"I'd expect it to be hostile," he said. "We know what it can be like over there, they're very passionate.

"You love playing in front of the big crowds when you can, especially for us because we don't get the opportunities like the other clubs.

"I think the boys will really enjoy it."