BEING hammered by Sydney in the final round was not the way Gold Coast wanted to end last season, but that match unearthed a gold nugget for the Suns.

Playing for the fourth straight week in Melbourne to finish a heavily COVID-impacted 2021, coach Stuart Dew gave then 19-year-old Alex Davies a debut against the Swans.

The Academy product had impressed in the second half of the year and would now cut his teeth against Luke Parker, Callum Mills, Isaac Heeney and the exciting Swans.

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Although the match at Marvel Stadium was largely one-way traffic – an 87-point win to Sydney – Davies impressed with his 16 disposals and six tackles, and above all else, gained some confidence.

Alex Davies tackles Tom Papley during the round 23 clash between Sydney and Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on August 21, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"You can say it's just the last game, we weren't in the finals and the points didn't matter, but for me, I'd found the consistency in the back half of the year and … it was on the back of work, and I knew Stuey picked me because I earned it," Davies told

"It wasn't a charity match, it was on the back of hard work.

"I knew I finished off playing at the level, felt comfortable playing at the level and knew I could just keep building on that. That was on my mindset throughout the whole pre-season."

Davies, an excellent junior basketballer that was in the Cairns Taipans Academy, made great strides during the pre-season.

You've got Rowelly who's a beast inside, Touk with his workrate, Noah with his skills. I know I bring something different which pushed me a bit more, knowing that if I brought that I'd be playing

- Alex Davies

The Suns had moved on from Will Brodie, who was traded to Fremantle, had let Hugh Greenwood slip to North Melbourne, and Lachie Weller was moving from the midfield to defence.

The midfield was taking shape and he wanted to be part of it.

Davies is a ball-hunter, and standing 191cm, has strength and power in his game that was on display in the first practice match against Port Adelaide in February when he launched a perfect 55m set shot bomb that raised eyebrows at Metricon Stadium.

Alex Davies celebrates a goal during the practice match between Gold Coast and Port Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on February 25, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

He then played well against Geelong in the AAMI Community Series and has started the season in the senior team, largely at half-forward, but pinching minutes on-ball.

Davies has already proved a nice complement to his higher-profile teammates.

"Just believing I am an AFL player is a big thing for me and I felt like it led me into playing round one," he said.

"It's hard (for me to believe in myself) but when it comes from the head coach it means a lot.

"I believe, and the coaches told me I bring something different, I'm more explosive and can evade traffic. And I just try to break the lines.

Alex Davies gets a handball away under pressure during the round two clash between Gold Coast and Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on March 26, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"I'm not going to compare myself to other midfielders because I bring something different.

"You've got Rowelly who's a beast inside, Touk with his workrate, Noah with his skills. I know I bring something different which pushed me a bit more, knowing that if I brought that I'd be playing.

"I've shown glimpses of what I can do, it's just trying to find consistency throughout the game. I feel my best is valuable, I just need to bring that through four quarters. I'm showing glimpses, but I need to work out how I can bring it more often.