It took just one pre-draft meeting between David Swallow and Matt Rowell for the Gold Coast co-captain to realise someone special was heading to the SUNS.

Swallow had heard the glowing reviews of Rowell's under-18 season, but in the midst of his first year in charge at AFL level, knew little about the Victorian's game or personality.

With Gold Coast all-but assured of taking Rowell with the first pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, Swallow, fellow captain Jarrod Witts and coach Stuart Dew met with the teenager well before his name was read out.

"We had a coffee about a month out (from the draft)," Swallow told

"Me and Witta and Dewy met with him in Melbourne … it was good to familiarise ourselves with him. It takes time to build a connection.

"He was a very humble kid and just enthusiastic and we talked about a range of things, but he was ready to come up and learn and he was just grateful for the opportunity.

"Straight away you think "that's the kind of person you want at your footy club"."

Not only would Swallow captain Rowell in his first season, but the midfielders share another special bond.

Swallow is the only other No.1 draft pick on Gold Coast's list – selected first in the club's inaugural draft in 2010. 

The West Australian knows all about the scrutiny that comes with the tag and said he was ready to help the 18-year-old start his career.

"I certainly understand the expectations and what comes with it," Swallow said.

"I'll be putting it to him if he ever needs that support, but the way he goes about it I'm pretty sure he's just going to go from strength to strength."

Rowell has looked right at home since moving to his new home in late November.

He was a standout in Gold Coast's practice match against Brisbane and again excelled in greasy conditions in the Suns' convincing Marsh Community Series win over Geelong.

"The first couple of weeks he was probably a bit quiet, but he's certainly starting to come out of his shell a bit," Swallow said.

"I was speaking to Noah (Anderson) about him. I think he's got a cheeky side to him.

"There's different personas to people and I think the boys are starting to crack him a bit and he's really good value and I think he's just fitted in so well.

"He's been leading with his training habits, by example.

"The thing that's impressed me is his willingness to learn and fit in and figure out the way we want to play.

"Him and Noah are super keen to do what they can for the team, that team-first attitude has been really impressive.

"Those two, you couldn’t ask for more as two young kids coming in."