'Young Bull' Rowell writing own AFL story

Murray Wenzel
Matt Rowell (c) made a huge impression in Gold Coast's AFL win over West Coast in round two

The comparisons are coming thick and fast for Gold Coast's Matt Rowell but the teenager hopes they don't define him as he intends to "writes his own story" in the AFL.

The 18-year-old was thrust into the centre to replace suspended captain David Swallow against the full-strength West Coast on Saturday night and racked up 26 disposals, seven tackles and two goals in the boilover.

It was more than enough to claim a rising star nomination - and stake a claim for the overall honour - in just his second AFL game.

The No.1 draft pick became the least-experienced player to collect a perfect 10 coach votes for his performance in a win that validated the hype and steeled a young Suns team that many had written off.

Rowell's phone was running hot post-game, with messages from Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell and Geelong's Joel Selwood among the pats on the back.

Selwood didn't even wait until the final siren to endorse the man many recruiters had compared him to, tweeting "Going to enjoy watching Rowell for the next 15 years. #youngbull," as the Suns pulled away from the Eagles at Metricon Stadium.

The Oakleigh Chargers product said it was a buzz to read a message from the Cats captain but that he wouldn't spend his career trying to replicate his mentor.

"I've grown up idolising him; he's been one of my childhood heroes," he said of Selwood on Tuesday.

"I still look up to him ... to get something that like that (message) is pretty surreal, I was pinching myself, it was pretty awesome.

"You take a bit of what other players have been able to do in their early years, but I'd like to write my own story myself."

Rowell knows opponents will study his game but said his bullocking approach wouldn't change as he sets about steering the young Suns to more success.

"I'll just keep hunting the footy," he said.

"It's a great time for the club that a lot of the young boys are signed on.

"If we can keep that young group together we can get a lot of success.

"It's good for the older boys at the club too that we're loving it here.

"There hasn't been much success at this club; the motivating factor for us young boys especially is that we can write our own story here."