LIKELY No.1 pick Matt Rowell admits he has started to track the lower end of the ladder as he gets his head around which club he could land at in November's NAB AFL Draft.
The Vic Metro midfielder averaged 25 disposals and five clearances in the NAB AFL Under-18 championships and is expected to be named an All Australian later this week.
After a brilliant start to the year, that followed an outstanding season in 2018 as a bottom-ager, Rowell has established himself at the top of the draft pool.
Matt Rowell and good mate Noah Anderson are expected to be the top two picks. Picture: AFL Photos
Gold Coast last week dropped to 18th on the ladder after Carlton's win over Fremantle, and is currently on a 10-game losing streak.
The Suns would be expected to take Rowell if they kept the No.1 choice, with the 18-year-old considered a ready-to-go prospect. He said it had been hard to avoid checking where his future might lie.
"I watch the ladder a bit. It's hard not to. But there's still a lot of footy to be played and I don't know where I'm going, so you can't look into it too much," he told AFL.com.au.
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"The thoughts do go through your head, but my focus now is the back end of this season and playing to my capabilities. That gives me the best chance to get picked up and it's all I can control."
The Suns are on the lookout for more midfielders, having added key pair Jack Lukosius and Ben King, as well as half-forward Izak Rankine, with early selections at last year's draft.
Rowell, who has grown up a Carlton fan and trained with the club during the pre-season, is not daunted by the possibility of the move to Queensland, particularly after being interviewed by the Suns' recruiting team.
"I think all of the clubs are great and have good support around, so Gold Coast would be a great club," he said.
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"They've done the home visit and I've met with a few of them and been very impressed by them, and they're really nice guys."
Rowell was vice-captain of Vic Metro during its disappointing carnival, where it won just one game from four outings despite being tipped as the team to beat.
He will return to play for school side Carey Grammar in coming weeks before finishing his season with the Oakleigh Chargers, where he claimed the best-afield medal in last year's under-18 Grand Final loss.
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Although Rowell has little left to prove, he is not the type to wind things back.
"It would have been nice to get a few more wins for the Vic Metro boys but I was reasonably happy [personally]," he said.
"I've got three more school footy games and we're in the race for the premiership there so that's exciting, and I want to go back to Oakleigh and really go hard at the finals like we did last year and get that extra win too."