Australia

Young gun opens up on viral AFL meme

The Gold Coast and Essendon played out a thrilling draw on Wednesday but all anyone wanted to talk about was injured Suns rookie Matt Rowell.

The number one 2019 Draft pick had set the league on fire early in the season but he was sidelined in round five when he dislocated his shoulder against Geelong, before he was ruled out for 12 weeks.

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Despite sitting with coach Stuart Dew for the night, Rowell sent social media into overdrive before the game when he was pictured with a wistful grin as he wrote in a notebook.

It‘s the stuff that memes are made of and the internet obliged. But speaking to AFL.com.au, Rowell was actually trolling his teammate in the moment that was immortalised online.

“It was actually a bit of a funny one because it was during warm up and I was with Noah (no. 2 draft pick Anderson) and he was fielding ground balls,” he said. ”It was a bit of a funny one, I started counting how many fumbles he made during the warm up. So it was actually a bit of fun.”

Rowell admitted there were only two fumbles “so he did pretty well”.

“I like to push him so I like to keep him accountable, so a bit of fun,” he said.

Rowell and Anderson are a great AFL story, having been taken one and two in the draft after having grown up together, won premierships on the same side and then both being drafted by the Suns.

The 19-year-old added that he enjoyed becoming a meme.

“It did spread a bit, it was a bit of fun, I had a look at it and had a good laugh so it‘s pretty funny,” he said.

As a refresher, here are a few of the best.

Rowell said with his coaching role while on the injury list, he likes to keep track of things during the game keeping the midfield accountable in his notebook.

He added that he‘s enjoyed working closely with Dew.

“I love working with him,” Rowell said. ”His mind‘s really good the way he talks about footy and I love learning off him. It’s really good to be on the bench and see what the other coaches talk about and I’m just absorbing it. It’s really cool to be alongside him.”

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