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Ablett out, Barlow in at Suns


Former captain Gary Ablett has been left out of Gold Coast’s leadership group for the 2017 AFL season and ex-Docker Michael Barlow has been drafted in, without having played a game for the club.

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Barlow, 29, has been voted into the group during his first pre-season with the team after being delisted by Fremantle and picked up as a free agent.

He was courted by several clubs in the off-season, including Adelaide, but the prospect of a longer tenure at the Gold Coast sealed the deal.

“Michael Barlow has made an immediate impact on the playing group,” Suns coach Rodney Eade said.

“Leading by example on and off the field and his elevation to the player leadership group demonstrates the influence he has had on the team in a relatively short period of time.”

Barlow and Touk Miller are the newcomers voted in by their teammates, alongside co-captains Steven May and Tom Lynch, along with Michael Rischitelli, Matt Rosa and David Swallow who were part of last year’s group.

“We are really pleased that Tom and Steven will be supported by a strong group of leaders,” Eade said.

“Michael Rischitelli, Matt Rosa and David Swallow are already established leaders at our football club and in Michael and David’s case they’ve been playing that role for some time.”

Ablett, who made the call late last year to step aside as captain before it was revealed he had requested a trade away from Gold Coast, was absent from the group altogether.

Defender Jarrod Harbrow is the other player to be dropped from last year’s leadership team.

Miller’s elevation comes after the midfielder previously formed part of the Suns’ emerging leadership group.


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