THE HUG between Matt Rowell and his mum Louise said it all.
Rowell, Gold Coast's prized No.1 pick from the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, was playing his first premiership match since undergoing a shoulder reconstruction in 2020.
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>> STREAMING NOW IN AFL ON DEMAND
It was the opening round of last season against West Coast at Optus Stadium, but it didn't go to plan, as Rowell went down in the opening quarter with a serious knee injury.
In a new documentary titled 'It's Up To Us' (streaming NOW in AFL On Demand), Gold Coast's in-house production captures the 20-year-old being consoled by his parents in the moments following the injury.
An emotional Rowell was greeted by his mother outside the Suns dressing-room.
"That was probably the toughest moment, just seeing them, mum was a bit emotional so was dad," Rowell said.
"It was good having them there too because I remember when I did my shoulder the year before, we were in the hub and went straight to NSW and I didn't see mum and dad for a while, which was tough."
The documentary follows Rowell, speedy defender Oleg Markov, and newly appointed member of the club's leadership group Sean Lemmens as they progress through 2021.
Markov talks about his relationship with his parents, including his world champion pole vaulting father Dimitri, while Lemmens' partner Chaye discusses his impact on their lives.