Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew saluted the performance of Matt Rowell during the 27-point win over the West Coast Eagles on Sunday and says he is willing to put his body on the line for the good of his team.
The Suns are priced at 5/1 to finish in the top eight of the AFL this season and got their campaign off to the perfect start with the victory in the west.
The Gold Coast put in an outstanding all-round performance but it was the display of gun midfielder Rowell that particularly caught the eye.
Rowell has had a nightmare couple of years on the injury front when suffering with shoulder, groin and knee issues but there were no signs of that at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
He finished with 33 possessions and 10 clearances, but it was the way he put his body on the line that really impressed Dew.
"The way he goes about his footy, he'll do anything for the team," Dew said the game. "He does everything possible to get himself in the best position, mentally and physically, to play the game, in a brutal way. That's where it begins and ends for Matt.
"Where that takes him, we'll sit back and watch and enjoy. He drags guys along with him."
There has been a lot of outside noise heading into the new season with the pressure being put on Dew to take the club into finals. The win in Perth was a great start and Dew says the unity within the club was there for all to see.
"Our game's profile is starting to lift to where we want it and where we have been predicting," he added. "It has been a planned build of the footy club and our list profile, and as that matures, our expectations go up and we look forward to each week.
"The boys have been on the journey and they know. We have been honest with them about where we have been and where we are at and where we want to go."