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Second-year SUN turning heads

Michael Whiting  January 24, 2018 12:06 PM

 - Gold Coast Suns,Jack Bowes

You've got people chasing your spot, so you've got to earn the right to a position in the team.

A simple medical procedure has Gold Coast utility Jack Bowes healthy again and turning heads before his second season in the AFL. 

Big things were expected of Bowes in 2017, but a combination of poor health and form restricted the No.10 draft pick to just 11 games. 

His primary problem was health. Bowes, who turns 20 on Australia Day, had three bouts of tonsillitis in the second half of last season alone.

His solution was simple.

"I was getting a bit sick, so I got them out at the start of pre-season, which has helped a lot," he told AFL.com.au

"I lost a bit of weight, which was frustrating. I couldn't get food down and didn't do any training for two weeks.

"But I'm feeling great now."

With his running getting better, a small improvement in his strength, and more time in the midfield to show off his skills, Bowes has excelled in the first few months under new coach Stuart Dew.

Last season the Queensland product was used primarily at half back, where former coach Rodney Eade hoped to use Bowes' exquisite kicking skills to launch the SUNS' rebound. 

It also took him out of the more combative midfield contests. 

Bowes said it was difficult to learn a new position, but was now thankful for the exposure to a different role – one he said would make him a more complete player. 

"The main takeout was how intense the game is, the speed of play, the size of bodies, it's much tougher than juniors," he said. 

"Plus the week-to-week grind of AFL footy -  the bouts of tonsillitis that held me back, plus a few niggles, but hopefully I learn from those experiences. 

"Last year you come into the system in awe of everyone and you're managed and you get through as best you can, but this year is a step up, you're doing 90 per cent of the program and I'm loving it.

"You've got people chasing your spot, so you've got to earn the right to a position in the team."