Suns rein in gun midfielder

23 December 2020 19:53:38 GMTPlus11

Gold Coast Suns have told young gun midfielder Matt Rowell to slow down as he bids to return from a shoulder operation.

The 19-year-old had the operation in July of this year and has been training harder than ever since then to get himself in the best possible shape.

His training ethic and dedication have to be applauded, but with the 2021 AFL campaign still months away, the Suns have had to put the brakes on his brutal regime.

Rowell has effectively done a pre-season already and the Suns fear he will burn himself out unless he eases off the gas a little.

Gold Coast football manager Jon Haines says they are also looking at the bigger picture and are thinking about a potential 15-year career not just next season.

"He's put in a massive amount of work since the injury, but particularly over the past three or four months," Haines told AFL.com. "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."

There are no issues with the shoulder however, and he will be back in full contact training with the rest of the players in the early new year.

"His shoulder is in unbelievable condition," Haines added. "That level of diligence is going to hold him in really good stead for a long career."

The Suns are priced at 60/1 to win the AFL grand final.

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