FOLLOWING a strong start to the season, former No.1 draft pick Matt Rowell says he wants to find another gear.

Rowell got the maximum 10 AFLCA votes in Gold Coast's opening round win over West Coast and is averaging 21 disposals - including five clearances - and seven tackles through five matches.

After having his first two seasons cruelled by long-term shoulder and knee injuries respectively, the inside midfielder has now got some continuity with a fit and healthy body and says he feels great.

MEDICAL ROOM Check out the full injury list

"I've enjoyed being able to string some games together," Rowell told

"I'm really enjoying my footy at the moment, and just focusing in on playing my role and what I can provide for the team."

06:16 Mins
Published on

Footy Feed: Dons eye finals, Dog not done, Blue explains move

Sarah Olle and Josh Gabelich with the latest footy news

Published on

One of Rowell's primary jobs for the Suns is to win the ball at the contest, and the 20-year-old does it better than most in the competition.

Currently, Rowell is ranked 11th in the AFL for contested possessions (13 a game) and 19th for total clearances.

However, only Melbourne's premiership-winning captain Max Gawn (62 per cent) has a higher contested possession rate than Rowell of anyone in the top-20.

Rowell says getting more balance in his game, like his co-captain Miller has developed over eight seasons, is a goal.

Matt Rowell and Touk Miller tackle David Mundy in Gold Coast's clash with Fremantle in round 13, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"That's my role, winning it on the inside and winning the ball for the team," he said.

"I'm always working on my game and looking for areas to get better.

"I'm always looking to get some ball on the spread too and constantly working on that and areas to get better at.

"I do pride myself on being able to win the ball on the inside, but also looking to improve on other areas too."

PLAY AFL FANTASY Make your trades NOW

Of immediate concern for him is Sunday's QClash against a Brisbane midfield that contains Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale, former Sun Jarryd Lyons and in-form Hugh McCluggage.

"They're a quality outfit Brisbane, especially their midfield," Rowell said.

"They've got a group that can win their own ball and also be really good on the spread too. We've got to be up for that and match them in that."