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Suns' top pick spurred on by early snub

Michael Whiting  December 1, 2017 3:48 PM


Wil Powell was a surprise first-round draft selection for the Suns. Picture: Gold Coast

It's a massive step up from colts footy, the intensity is huge

SURPRISE first round draft selection Wil Powell says being snubbed by Western Australia's under-18 selectors only drove him harder last season.

Powell snuck under the radar of many when he was taken by Gold Coast with the 19th pick in last week's NAB AFL Draft after missing the national under-18 carnival. 

The lightly-built 18-year-old had an excellent season for Claremont's colts team and has been impressive in his first week of training at Carrara.

"I was trying to get into the state 18s squad, but didn't crack into it, didn't get offered any trial matches, which disappointed me," Powell said.

"But I guess that made me try a bit harder throughout the colts and put my head down and train a bit harder and I eventually got where I wanted to get in the end."

Powell is similar to his new teammate Jack Martin, with good skills, a fearless approach for his frame and an ability to play in multiple positions.

Suns coach Stuart Dew said he was impressed with what he'd seen so far.

"Is he (Powell) a bolter? I’m not sure," Dew said. 

"It's only a number. If we didn't take him, someone else would have, no doubt about it. 

"Even if it was just us that were willing to grab him, what we saw was enough to get him to the footy club." 

Powell is living with young Suns Touk Miller and Peter Wright and said his first week in the AFL system had been a shock to the body. 

"It's a massive step up from colts footy, the intensity is huge, it's 10 times what it is to colts, even more," he said. 

"I was doing next to no gym with Claremont and (here, I'm) straight into gym four or five times a week. Your body starts to ache, it's good.

"To be training alongside these elite athletes, the likes of Michael Barlow, Lachie Weller, Jack Martin, just seeing them in the gym, I want to be as good as them, I want to be them.

"It's been good for the first week. The footy's good, the environment's good, the weather's good, I've been loving it."