GOLD Coast has put the brakes on the insatiable training appetite of prized young midfielder Matt Rowell.
Following shoulder surgery in July, the former No.1 draft pick has relentlessly worked to firstly overcome the injury, and then get into incredible physical shape.
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But as the Suns officially began their pre-season in early December, Rowell was left to watch from the sidelines as his training volume was reduced.
As Gold Coast football manager Jon Haines told AFL.com.au, the club is taking a long-term view with the 19-year-old.
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"He's put in a massive amount of work since the injury, but particularly over the past three or four months," Haines said.
"It's a good time for him to take a breath.
"We just want to manage him through what's going to be a long pre-season, off the back of pretty much doing a pre-season the last three or four months.
"Given the nature of his personality and how much he loves the hard work and the grind, we think it's really important we manage him through this next phase."
Rowell has been a regular at the Suns' Carrara headquarters since their 2020 season finished in late September.
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He even found time to squeeze a running session in with best mate Noah Anderson early on Grand Final morning in Brisbane before a big day of appearances.
Rowell recently headed back to his family home in Victoria for a mental recharge.
"He's so diligent and so driven and such a sponge when it comes to taking in information," Haines said.
"It's a case of educating him, how to channel that energy and level of drive into a 15-year career.
"We want him right for round one next year, but we want him ready for the next 10 or 15 years as well."
Rowell is continuing to train in the lead-up to Christmas, but just doing less, and will be integrated into contact sessions in the New Year.
"His shoulder is in unbelievable condition," Haines said.
"That level of diligence is going to hold him in really good stead for a long career."