Best mates could reignite the Suns
Rowell full of hope for 2020 Gold Coast
TWO Melbourne best mates who played in two premierships together this year are headed north to lead Gold Coast Suns’ charge back up the AFL ladder.
Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson were last night selected with picks 1 and 2 respectively in the AFL national draft in both a talent coup and clever retention strategy by the Suns.
The pair played junior football with and against each other, won a basketball club championship together and completed Year 12 studies together at Carey Grammar this year. Both also won premierships this year with Carey and NAB League club Oakleigh Chargers.
The Suns kept Rowell sweating for almost a minute before logging their first selection, which sees Rowell follow in the footsteps of players like Luke Hodge, Brendon Goddard, Nick Riewoldt and Marc Murphy as a No. 1 pick.
“It’s pure excitement for me and what this opportunity brings,” inside midfielder Rowell said of his emotions. “They’ve (the Suns) been really positive throughout the whole year and I think they’ll really bring me into their club.
“I think it will be a great place for me to live and play footy.”
Melbourne chose 200cm former Australian basketballer Luke Jackson with pick 3, the ruckman seen as a future Max Gawn replacement and likened to Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy for his follow-up work at ground level.
Western Australia under-18 coach and state football great
Peter Sumich believes Jackson is capable of playing significant senior football next year.
Jackson became the first ruckman selected with a topfive pick since West Coast’s Nic Naitanui was selected at pick 2 in 2008.
Murray Bushrangers rebounding defender Lachlan Ash found his way to Greater Western Sydney with pick 4, while Sydney sprung an early surprise by selecting South Australian midfielder Dylan Stephens at pick 5.
Sandringham Dragons key defender Fischer McAsey — labelled an Aaron Naughton clone — was snapped up by Adelaide at pick 6, while Fremantle used back-to-back selections to select Dandenong Stingrays defender Hayden Young (pick 7) and Gippsland Power onballer Caleb Serong (pick 8) who both played together at under-16 level.
Carlton lodged a bid on Fremantle academy member and livewire forward Liam Henry with pick 9, which the Dockers matched to secure the West Australian.
The Blues used their next pick to lodge another bid for GWS Academy member Tom Green, with the Giants also matching that pick for the Canberra-based midfielder.