CHARLIE Rowbottom's decision to nominate Queensland as her preferred state ahead of the 2021 NAB AFLW Draft might have raised a few eyebrows.

The 18-year-old was tipped to be taken with the No.1 pick, and hailing from Victoria, the expectation was she would stay in her home state.

However, the imposing midfielder had different ideas.

Armed with the first overall selection, Gold Coast made a pitch to Rowbottom to head north – one that hit home.

"Gold Coast approached me and said where I'd sit in the team, gave me this opportunity and I thought 'why wouldn't I grab on to it and live in such an amazing place with a building culture?' Rowbottom told

"I'm a year out of school and have spent the last two years in Melbourne pretty much in iso thanks to COVID. 

"I spent Year 12 in my bedroom, so was super keen to get out and have a bit of an adventure and the Suns offered me that opportunity.

"I didn't know anyone. I knew Annise Bradfield from the (AFLW) Academy a couple of years ago, but besides that I didn't know anyone, so it was a big leap of faith.

"I guess you could say that [it was] relatively adventurous."

Rowbottom isn't totally foreign to the area with family on the Gold Coast, and she enjoys the beach lifestyle.

The sister of Sydney midfielder James, she had a delayed start to training with her new teammates due to border restrictions.

She finally moved to the northern New South Wales town of Pottsville about a month ago, where she could complete the 60-minute drive to Carrara for training as part of the Queensland-NSW 'border bubble'.

Rowbottom moved across the border to the Gold Coast on December 13.

"It's been a massive mission," she said.

"The process was a bit rocky at the start, but it's been alright because the club took care of me immensely, set me up with a trainer in Melbourne with one of the other girls (Vivien Saad) stuck in Melbourne as well, so it wasn't that bad."

Rowbottom has made an instant impact at her new club, impressing with her physicality and desperation at training.

"She's been really impressive and added a fair bit of life to the group," coach Cameron Joyce said.

"She's a super competitor and done really well in our scrimmage and practice matches amongst ourselves. We're really excited to see her play."