Dual Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett Jnr says he'd love to share time with Gold Coast's Matt Rowell to help the former No.1 draft pick build his game.

Ablett made a rare public speaking appearance on Saturday at Gold Coast's Chairman's function, where he received life membership from the SUNS.

Ablett reflected on his time at the club he played 110 games at across seven seasons, saying it was a "difficult decision" to head north from Geelong at the end of 2010.

The eight-time All-Australian said he was a fan of Rowell, but saw more potential.

"I'd love to spend a little bit of time with him," Ablett said.

"I love the way he goes about it. He wins a lot of contested football, but I'd love to see him get a bit easier football at times.

"He’s got great skills."

Rowell is in the midst of a terrific third season in the AFL, averaging 19 disposals – 13 of them contested – across 20 games.

Ablett played 357 games across 19 seasons, winning the Brownlow Medal in 2009 and 2013. He was Gold Coast's inaugural captain.

"It was obviously a really tough decision to leave the football club that I supported my whole life," he said on leaving the Cats.

"For me I felt it was the right decision at that time.

"(The seven years on the Gold Coast) was a real time of growth for me as a person.