AFL Rd 2 - Gold Coast v West Coast
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 13: Matthew Rowell of the Suns celebrates his first goal during the round 2 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium on June 13, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Who would have thought that when the 2020 fixture was released that this was how the year would have ended up?

You would have been laughed across the Murray River if you were to suggest to the fervent footballing public of Victoria that many of them would not see a single game live this season.

A straight jacket would have been tailored to your measurements should you have suggested that the Grand Final would be played under lights at the Gabba in October.

However, due to arrival of an unforeseen and, as of yet, untameable virus, the game, like the rest of the world, was forced to make compromises.

With these changes came a fresh batch of terms to enter the footy lexicon, as well as the array of previously unthought of headlines that appeared on mastheads everywhere.

So despite a season that provided challenges for everyone involved in the game, it has also supplied many moments (both good and bad) that will live long in our memories.

Here are the top 10 headlines from a season unlike any before it.


10. The Sun’s rising Son

Each season, the number one draft pick is much vaunted. However, none have failed to live up to said hype as quickly as Matt Rowell.

The redheaded teenager had experts singing his praise and Stuart Dew smiling from day dot with his 20 disposal and seven tackle performance against Geelong in the pre-season. When the real stuff began, the high panted neophyte continue to work through his gears fluidly.

In a season that was sadly capped at five games due to a shoulder injury, the former Oakleigh Charger still left us with a stat line that will only be improved upon in the many years to come.

In his handful of appearances, Rowell averaged 17.4 disposals (10.4 of which were contested), four clearances, 5.2 tackles and 1.2 goals a game.

This output saw Rowell awarded with best on ground Brownlow honours in just his second, third and fourth games.

Although surgery cut his season short, Rowell saw injury as opportunity, becoming the first assistant coach still on their P plates.