BOTH brothers pause, take a moment to think about it, and then agree.
"Yeah, it would be a weird feeling playing against him," Thomson says.
"I've actually never thought about it until now," Paddy adds.
Thomson Dow in action at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.
Whether it's been in the backyard with family, for their local club back in Swan Hill, or at school with Geelong Grammar, Paddy and Thomson Dow have never played against each other. Only with each other.
When they were kids – the middle two of four Dow boys – they would pair off together and go against their oldest brother, Jed, and their youngest, Max. The teams were always designed with the goal of creating the most even outcome, based on all of their ages.
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It was a similar story at club level, where they won a Colts premiership together with Swan Hill when Paddy was 16 and Thomson was 14.
Paddy has since graduated to the AFL, recruited to Carlton with the third selection in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft. Later this month, Thomson hopes to join him in the League. Although whether they're again paired together, this time at the Blues, is another story.
Paddy Dow in action at Blues training last week.
"It would be awesome," Paddy tells AFL.com.au.
"I've been trying to have a bit of a joke with 'Stuka' (Carlton recruiting manager Paul Brodie) and (list manager) Mick Agresta and the other recruiters, just to get them on board.
"I think our picks are a bit out of the way for 'Thommo', so I'm not expecting much. But it would be awesome, I'd absolutely love it."
Both brothers admit they have been eyeing Carlton's picks at this year's draft, curious to see whether Thomson could land at Ikon Park. Should he do so, they would become the 10th pair of brothers to be playing alongside each other at the same club within the AFL.
The Blues already have two of those pairs – Ed and Charlie Curnow, as well as Jack and Ben Silvagni – though may find it difficult to bring Thomson to the club, given the hand they hold at the draft.
Carlton has picks No.9, 43, 57, 70 and 85, with Thomson tipped to be an early second-round selection after an impressive season with Geelong Grammar, the Bendigo Pioneers and Vic Country that has elevated his draft standing significantly.
The 184cm midfielder – who plays in a similar vein to Paddy, with his explosiveness and burst from stoppage among his best attributes – averaged 21.6 disposals and a goal per game in the NAB League this season, also enjoying a host of standout APS performances.
Thomson Dow (left) starred for the Bendigo Pioneers this season.
His elite athleticism was subsequently demonstrated further at last month's NAB AFL Draft Combine, where Thomson finished third overall in the agility test – posting an impressive time of just 8.061 seconds.
Throughout it all, he's leant on his older brother for advice on how to navigate school, footy and the pressures of being touted as a potential early draft pick.
"Paddy's been pretty good," Thomson tells AFL.com.au.
"It's always handy to have him there to ask any questions that I need, whether that be about general school life or whether it's about football and AFL life.
It's always good to have him there as a bit of a support network, to ask any questions which I may have, because he's already gone through it all. - Thomson Dow
Paddy, himself now handling the full-time rigours of being an AFL footballer, has in turn found it difficult to get on the road and watch Thomson's development throughout the season.
He concedes he only managed to make it to one Geelong Grammar game this year, but watched all of Thomson's Vic Country outings on TV. However, amid that, the Carlton midfielder has found other ways of keeping tabs on the progress of his younger brother.
>> The 2019 NAB AFL Draft runs from November 27-28. Follow all the latest news in the draft hub
"One night I was asking the recruiters how 'Thommo' was going and 'Stuka' said, 'if you want to come and watch him then come in whenever you want'," Paddy says.
"So, I went into the Carlton recruiting office later that week and watched some of their edits. I've kept asking them, because they'd know more than me."
An area where Paddy – and his junior coaches – have seen Thomson grow immensely throughout the season has been on the inside of the contest.
The improvement in that particular aspect of his game follows a pre-season goal Thomson had set himself to focus on his contested ball-winning abilities. It's something he has followed through with during the year.
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"He's still raw and he's still got lots of development left in him," Thomson's Vic Country coach, Leigh Brown, tells AFL.com.au.
"He's good in close and his contested stuff is really good. He's also got really nice hands to release to a teammate and he's got a burst of speed, so his athleticism is a main strength of his."
Indeed, Paddy is quick to agree on Thomson's fantastic ability to feed the ball to his teammates through his quick and accurate hands.
"He's definitely got a better handball than me, to be honest," Paddy laughs.
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Despite all of the backyard victories and the premierships together at Swan Hill, both Paddy and Thomson are now coming around to the very real possibility that they could soon face off against each other in the AFL.
Born on the same day, but two years apart, they're now starting to contemplate the unfamiliar prospect of how they would fare on opposite sides of the ledger for the first time.
"I reckon I'd get into his head a bit more than he would," Paddy says.
"It's all good natured with us, we've never had a punch-up or anything," Thomson adds.
"We've always been pretty competitive, so we've always pushed each other to get the best out of ourselves."
BROTHERS PLAYING IN THE SAME AFL TEAM
|Adelaide||Brad and Matt Crouch|
|Brisbane||Jarrod and Thomas Berry|
|Brisbane||Jarryd and Corey Lyons|
|Carlton||Charlie and Ed Curnow|
|Carlton||Jack and Ben Silvagni|
|Collingwood||Callum and Tyler Brown|
|Geelong||Cam and Zach Guthrie|
|Melbourne||Oscar and Tom McDonald|
|Melbourne||Corey and Josh Wagner|