Gold Coast Suns secure ‘best young players in the country’ at AFL draft

The Gold Coast Suns have had a triumphant night at the AFL draft, securing three of the best young players in the country.

With the first two selections on the night, the club selected Victorian pair Matthew Rowell (pick 1) and Noah Anderson (pick 2).

Then the Suns got a live trade, meaning they bundled their picks 17 and 22 and traded them for 11 and 62.


With pick 11 they were able to secure Sam Flanders (pick 11), who’s a powerful midfielder/forward from the Gippsland Power.

All three new players are stoked to be joining the league, and can’t wait to get started on the Gold Coast.

Rowell says it’s his all-time dream to play in the AFL, and can’t wait for it to become a reality.

“It’s super exciting for me and I just can’t wait to get started, it’s a massive honour.

“Since my name got called out, it’s been go go go, I’m sure it will sink in soon, but I just can’t wait to get to training and get started,” Rowell told SUNS Media.

Anderson was rapt that life at the Gold Coast SUNS was about to begin.

“It’s a bit surreal, it’s setting in slowly but I’m so excited and can’t wait to get started at the Gold Coast SUNS

“I’d like to think I can bring lots of positive energy and excitement to the club but also ensure that I give 110% all the time,” Anderson said.

Flanders says he’s excited to move to the Gold Coast and get started on his first pre-season as an AFL footballer.

“When my name was called out, I was over the moon and really excited to get up to Queensland and get to work.

“It’s a very special moment, there’s been a lot of hard yards put in, but to finally have my name read out, it’s a special night, Flanders said.

Suns Coach Stuart Dew says the Gold Coast side is thrilled to have secured three incredible players.

“We’ve been pretty clear with Matt and Noah all along that we would be taking them with the first two picks, because we think they are the best two players in the country for their age.

“They are fantastic characters. They can obviously play football and have both had fantastic years on the field too.

“We’re realty excited that we were also able to bring in a player of Sam’s quality with pick 11, we rated him really highly, as a powerful player who can roll through the midfield and up forward.

“In essence all three lads are good people from good families, so we are rapt to be welcoming them into the football club,” Dew said.

The club will enter the second night of the draft with selections 62 and 66 on Thursday night.


Player Profiles

Pick 1 – Matthew Rowell

Height :180cm
Previous Clubs: Oakleigh Chargers/Booroondara Hawks/Carey Grammar
Position: Midfield

Medium sized midfielder who accumulates the ball using his relentless attack, clean hands and courage to win possession. A playmaker with great vision and game sense, he has been an ultra-consistent performer in his underaged career including best-on-ground honours in the last two NAB League Grand Finals and the Futures match on AFL Grand final day last year. Capped off an outstanding year with the Oakleigh Chargers averaging 31.6 disposals in just seven matches, winning their Best and Fairest award. He averaged 24.8 disposals, 5.2 clearances and six tackles throughout the 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships earning 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian honours.

Pick 2 – Noah Anderson

Height: 191cm

Weight: 87kg

Previous Clubs: Oakleigh Chargers/Boroondara Hawks/Carey Grammar
Position: Midfield

Medium sized midfielder with elite repeat efforts, using his footy smarts and ball winning ability to impact games. As Vic Metro’s captain in the 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, he was a highly competitive player, averaging 23.5 disposals (10.8 contested) and 5.2 clearances to win 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian honours. Strong overhead and in one-on-one contests, he also has uncanny goal sense. He starred for the Oakleigh Chargers averaging 28.3 disposals, 3.6 tackles and kicked 14 goals in seven matches in the NAB League finishing third in the club’s Best and Fairest award in their premiership season.

Pick 11 – Sam Flanders

Height: 183cm
Weight: 82kg

Previous Clubs: Gippsland Power/Moe/Lowanna College
Position: Midfield/Forward

Powerful medium forward/midfielder who has impacted matches all year, with his contested ball winning ability and strength in one-on-one contests real features of his play. Strong overhead and with a good burst of speed away from stoppages, he won 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian honours after he averaged 22.5 disposals, 4.5 marks, 4.5 clearances and six tackles across the 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. A star for Gippsland Power averaging 22.4 disposals and winning their Best and Fairest award.