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Big Mac ready to deliver in key role for Gold Coast

Mac Andrew reckons he didn't need the confidence boost.

Instead, the emerging Gold Coast defender says his early lockdown effort on Carlton forward Charlie Curnow simply proved to his teammates he was ready for the big AFL jobs.

The 20-year-old's duel with the two-time defending Coleman Medallist was a captivating one at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.

Andrew kept his side in it with a dominant first half, his seven intercepts and 11 disposals nullifying Curnow (five disposals, two behinds) despite the Blues' midfield dominance.

Tactics changed in the second half and Curnow, with Andrew helping in the ruck, found some space and finished with four goals in the win.

But Andrew's effort caught the eye of outsiders - former Geelong great Jimmy Bartel telling Channel Nine he could be "this generation's Dustin Fletcher" - and validated what his co-captain knew already.

"He has that athleticism that allows him to do some amazing things, but he's also a really competitive fella," Suns ruckman Jarrod Witts said on Tuesday.

"He gets after it, has got a will to win and showed that on the weekend.

"It's just another great step to understand he can match it with these guys and can have a really big influence for us.

"And he'll just improve the more opportunity he gets on those quality players."

Andrew said a concerted effort on mid-week preparation had allowed him to balance his natural talent with an ability to function within coach Damien Hardwick's system.

Mac Andrew of the Suns is seen with fans.
Suns defender Mac Andrew (right) catches up with fans after Gold Coast beat Geelong in Darwin. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

"It's one I had my eye on since the start of the year," he said of the match-up on Curnow.

"You can either go in really shy and nervous and go into your shell, or go in with a point to prove.

"You probably can't keep great players away for too long before they make an impact like he did in the second half

"It's something I'll take a lot from.

"I'm a pretty confident player and person in general, don't shy away too much from those match-ups.

"But it gives my teammates the belief I can play on those types of players."

The 10th-placed Suns (6-5), winless on the road but unbeaten in six games at home grounds on the Gold Coast and in Darwin, host second-placed Essendon (8-2) on Sunday.

"They've been going pretty well. It's important we get a win for us, but for Longy (Ben Long) in his 100th game as well," Andrew said.