Former No.1 pick Matt Rowell gained some rapid recognition for his 2024 campaign with a monster performance against Richmond on Saturday.

The Gold Coast midfielder became the second AFL player ever to amass at least 20 clearances in a single game since the stat was first recorded.

Falling just short of former Essendon and Hawthorn ruckman Paul Salmon's record by two clearances, Rowell's effort sees the young Sun edge out former Demon Brent Moloney and Carton skipper Patrick Cripps to sit second overall for the one-game haul.

Salmon's record came in Round 13 of the 1998 season - the same year the stat was first recorded - against North Melbourne when the Hawks notched up a two-point win at Waverley Park.

Rowell came mightily close to levelling Salmon in Saturday's 39-point win over Richmond, surpassing Gary Ablett Jnr's club record of 18 clearances in a single game.

Most clearances in a single AFL game*

Player Year Team Opponent Clearances
Paul Salmon 1998 Hawthorn North Melbourne 22
Matt Rowell 2024 Gold Coast Richmond 20
Brent Maloney 2011 Melbourne Adelaide 19
Patrick Cripps 2019 Carlton Adelaide 19
Gary Ablett Jnr 2017 Gold Coast North Melbourne 18
Sam Mitchell 2005 Hawthorn Collingwood 18
Shaun Burgoyne 2008 Port Adelaide Collingwood 18
Matthew Priddis 2012 West Coast Western Bulldogs 17
Andrew Swallow 2011 North Melbourne Adelaide 17
Patrick Cripps 2018 Carlton Adelaide 17

Stat first recorded in 1998 (AFL Tables)

Outside of Cripps, Rowell was already the only current player to have recorded more than 15 clearances in a single match, amassing a haul of 16 last year against the Western Bulldogs to also sit second to Ablett on the Suns' leaderboard prior to this season.

The 22-year-old also collected 33 disposals and 26 contested possessions  - both being career-highs for the inside midfielder - against the Tigers.

His clearance split fell evenly between centre and stoppage clearances, with Rowell getting to work across the field to put forward a best-afield performance.

His contested possessions total fell one short of Ablett's best in Suns colours, which the dual Brownlow Medal winner did on multiple occasions.

Rowell recorded the most clearances in a single season by a Suns player last year with a total of 177 - ten less than league leader Lachie Neale to sit second in the competition during the home and away season.

It'll take some effort for Rowell to surpass the all-time single-season clearance record set by Carlton great Brett Ratten, who collected 265 clearances during the 1999 season.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Matt Rowell of the Suns in action during the 2024 AFL Opening Round match between the Gold Coast SUNS and the Richmond Tigers at People First Stadium on March 09, 2024 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Ratten averaged 10.19 clearances per game from his 26 matches that year, meaning he amassed 60 more clearances than Neale's 2023 campaign when you also include his trio of finals appearances Neale had for the Lions.

Rowell's 2023 haul sits 16th on the single-season list.

The Victorian's career average of 6.24 clearances per game has him in second on the Suns' all-time list, behind Ablett (6.85) and Jarryd Lyons (6.54).

Current Gold Coast veteran David Swallow is the club's all-time leader for the metric with 870, which is 477 more than Rowel's career tally from 158 more games.

Suns co-captain Touk Miller isn't too far behind Swallow's spot at the summit with 787 career clearances.

Rowell will face Adelaide next week, with the Crows the second-worst club last year for conceding opposition clearances - ahead of only West Cast.

The Round 1 affair could see Rowell back up his record opener against the Tigers in his second appearance of the season as the inside bull looks to put forward a career-best year.

Of the top ten recorded matches for clearances in a single game, four of those performances have come against the Crows.