AAP AFL

Suns AFL belief grows as Rowell commits

By AAP Newswire

Stuart Dew wished he could have sent Matt Rowell onto Metricon Stadium as his Gold Coast side mounted a final-quarter assault on St Kilda that would eventually fall four points short on Thursday.

But at least the coach knows he'll have his star midfielder for a few more years after the injured 19-year-old confirmed he would remain on the Gold Coast until the end of the 2023 season on Thursday.

The Suns fell to 4-6 with the loss but showed their potential even without their No.1 draft pick in the 12.6 (78) to 11.8 (74) loss to St Kilda (7-3), who now move to second on the AFL ladder.

"It's fantastic news for the whole footy club; he's made of the right stuff, Matt," Dew said of Rowell's contract extension.

"I said to him at half time I wouldn't mind putting the No.18 on for the last quarter ... he's so dedicated to his craft and we can't wait to get him back."

In his absence Izak Rankine and Jack Lukosius linked well with the more experienced Touk Miller and Hugh Greenwood to give fans a glimpse of where they may be heading.

"We're starting to see some synergy but we'd love to have four points to show for it," Dew said.

"We've talked about trying to build belief; they're not trying to build it anymore, they're getting belief.

"Don't get me wrong, there's hurt players in the locker room but on the flip side we are right in the games.

"In terms of what it does for the group ... it's exciting and will bind us together even more going through these experiences and hold us in good stead down the track."

Rowell is unlikely to feature again this season but the teenager is able to look beyond that.

"A lot of our group is between 18 and 22, so there's going to be a lot of development and growth," he said.

"It's going to be really cool to see how far we can get."