Priority pick key to Suns’ one-two draft bonanza
VICTORIAN best mates and highly-touted draft prospects Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson could be Gold Coast-bound in a package deal if the Suns are granted a priority pick by the AFL Commission.
The pair are said to be open to being drafted to Gold Coast together, in a move that would boost the Suns' chances of retaining them beyond the initial two-year contracts granted to draftees.
Rowell is widely expected to be the No.1 draft pick this year, the inside midfielder having been likened to Geelong's Joel Selwood given his brilliance around stoppages, hardness in the contest and ball-winning ability.
Anderson, the son of two-time Hawthorn premiership player Dean, has been compared to Western Bulldogs young-gun Marcus Bontempelli as a 190cm midfielder with strong running ability who can kick goals.
Rowell and Anderson played junior football and basketball together, attend school together at Carey Grammar and have played NAB League with Oakleigh Chargers together as well as both representing Vic Metro in the AFL under-18 national championships.
Oakleigh Chargers talent manager Jy Bond said it would "make sense" for an interstate club to draft the pair together.
"If a club could get the two of them, you couldn't go wrong," Bond said.
"If I was the Gold Coast I'd be trying to get the two of them.
"They've grown up together, they've played school footy together, they play Vic Metro together, they've played Chargers together. So in terms of interstate clubs retention-wise, it would be a smart move."
Suns chairman Tony Cochrane confirmed this month the club would apply for a priority pick at an AFL Commission meeting early next month, which could see the Suns land the first two picks in the draft if they finish last on the ladder.
Gold Coast currently sits two games behind 17th placed Melbourne.
Interstate clubs have increasingly looked to draft friends together in recent years.
Brisbane drafted Ballarat best mates Jarrod Berry and Hugh McCluggage in the 2016 national draft, while Gold Coast drafted Adelaide schoolmates and long-time junior teammates Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine together last year.