No.1 gun Matt Rowell on the Gold Coast beach

IF YOU liked what you saw from Matt Rowell earlier this year, then it's time to get excited for what's still to come.

The star Gold Coast youngster believes that a devastating season-ending injury sustained earlier this year has only enabled him to grow "bigger and stronger" in more areas of his game, following a period spent focusing on how he could turn the setback into a positive.


Rowell made a blistering start to his AFL career after he was recruited to the Suns with pick No.1 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, inspiring three consecutive victories with best-on-ground performances against West Coast, Adelaide and Fremantle.


However, a remarkable maiden campaign in the AFL system was brought to a shuddering halt when he dislocated his shoulder following a heavy tackle from Brandan Parfitt against Geelong.

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He will subsequently miss the remainder of the season following the first significant injury of his career, but there's been no wasting the opportunity to grow in more areas since the cruel blow.

Rowell has been working as an opposition analyst and has been helping coach Stuart Dew on gamedays while sidelined, as well as focusing on improving physically while recovering from his shoulder injury.

"My mindset slipped to how I could make this a positive and how I could get things out of it," Rowell said as part of the NAB Pathways series.

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"I've done that by getting in the gym, getting stronger in the legs, mindset things … just things that if I was in-season I wouldn't be able to do. I'm just trying to stay positive and I know I'll be back bigger and stronger.

"Things can get taken away from you in certain situations, but your attitude can't get taken away from you. That's how I really look at things. I've got a pretty lucky life being an AFL footballer and I've got a great family, so I'm very lucky."

As part of the series, Rowell also shares an insight into his regular gameday habit of tucking in his jumper and revealed the origins of why he first started the unique look in his junior career.

"I've always just tucked it in," Rowell laughed.

"I think it was when I was really little, I started doing it and one of the coaches said, 'that's a good idea … you won't be able to get tackled as easily now'.

"It was a bit of that, plus I really liked the look as well. It's just old-school, get down to business and get going."