Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell will be taken with picks one and two in the draft. Picture: Tony Gough
Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell will be taken with picks one and two in the draft. Picture: Tony Gough

Suns must ‘keep it simple’ at draft table

KISS - Keep It Simple Suns.

Wednesday's AFL draft at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne is a straight-forward affair for the Gold Coast. A slam dunk, a soda.

The Suns have the first two picks in the draft where two players - Victorian midfield young guns Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson - are the absolute standouts in the class of 2019.

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Short of the Godfather of all Godfather offers from a rival club for one or both of the selections as part of the live trading on the night, best mates and long-time junior teammates Rowell and Anderson will be heading to the Gold Coast.

One, two - thank you.

The AFL's recruiting concessions for the Suns, among a wide range of things, included a priority pick at the top of this year's draft.

The red-headed contested ball animal Rowell has been the lay down misère for the no. 1 pick for as long as anybody can remember with this draft class.

The priority pick brought Anderson - the son of former Hawthorn and St Kilda player Dean Anderson - into play for the Suns who also have picks 15, 20, 78 and 90 at the draft.

Noah Anderson (left) and Matt Rowell will be taken with picks one and two in the draft. Picture: AAP Images
Noah Anderson (left) and Matt Rowell will be taken with picks one and two in the draft. Picture: AAP Images

"They are outstanding players from outstanding families and we've put a lot of work into those guys over the last three years,'' Gold Coast national recruiting manager Kall Burns said.

"We would be absolutely open to see what comes on draft night. It would be remiss of us not to be open to what clubs come with. If nothing happens, we'd be very happy to use the top two picks.

"They (Rowell and Anderson) are both mature players and people. Both really competitive but slightly different characters who complement each other.

"They are fairly strong inside and outside … they both build their games off contested footy and compete really strongly but then they both have the running ability to get to the outside and use the footy as well and they both hit the scoreboard.

After targeting tall key position players in the past two drafts, the Suns need to beef-up their depth in the on-ball division and Burns said Rowell and Anderson provide "really good versatility and power through the midfield''.

An added bonus for the Gold Coast is that Rowell and Anderson are genuinely great friends.

On Rowell's 16th birthday, Anderson gave the avid gardener a Blue Moon rose.

They first played against each other in early junior football but then combined to win premierships at club, school and NAB under 18 League levels. Not to mention a junior basketball grand final as well. They also represented Vic Metro together in the national under 18 championships.

Noah Anderson in action during the national championships. Picture: AAP Images
Noah Anderson in action during the national championships. Picture: AAP Images

"They absolutely know what success looks like and they know how hard it is to have success in football across all levels,'' Burns said.

"They been driving success in every group they've played in since under 12s.

"If they were to come in, I'm sure they would drive the group forward, even as youngsters.''

WHO IS MATT ROWELL:

Age: 18

Position: Midfield

Height: 178cm

Weight: 74kg

Teams: Carey Grammar/Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

Plays like: Geelong captain Joel Selwood

Honours/Stats: Dual under 18 All-Australian, Best-on-ground for Oakleigh in 2018 grand final. Averaged 25 disposals, five clearances and six tackles per game for Vic Metro in the national under 18 championships this year. Fearless attack on the football, clean hands, good user of the ball. A top performer at the endurance tests at the AFL Combine.

Likely draft pick: No. 1 (Suns)

MORE AFL

WHO IS NOAH ANDERSON

Age: 18

Position: Midfield/forward

Height: 188cm

Weight: 86kg

Teams: Carey Grammar/Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

Plays like: Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli

Honours/Stats: Vic Metro captain at national under 18 championships and All-Australian under 18 in 2019. Averaged almost 25 disposals per game and more than five clearances for Vic Metro. Good goal sense and strong overhead mark. Averaged 29 disposals and booted 14 goals in six games for Oakleigh this year.

Likely draft pick: No. 2 (Suns)

News Corp Australia


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