Matt Rosa gears up for 14th season in the AFL

VETERAN: Matt Rosa is coming into his 14th season in the AFL with the Gold Coast Suns. He was drafted by West Coast in 2004.

VETERAN: Matt Rosa is coming into his 14th season in the AFL with the Gold Coast Suns. He was drafted by West Coast in 2004.

COMING into his 14th season in the AFL, former Warrack Eagles junior footballer Matt Rosa is certainly one of the more experienced heads at the Gold Coast Suns.

2018 will be Rosa’s third season at the Suns, after making a name for himself at the West Coast Eagles. 

With a new coach in Stuart Dew at the helm of the Suns, Rosa said it was an exciting time to be around the club. 

“It’s been a big change with the new coach coming in,” he said. 

“Stuart is reasonably young and has brought great enthusiasm and good ideas. There is probably a touch of Sydney in the way he wants us to play, having spent a long time at Sydney. He has brought in new drills and has re-energised the group a little bit. There are some new voices and the boys are enjoying it at the moment.”

At 31, Rosa is coming to terms with the harsh fact of an elite sporting career – adapting your body and playing style to accommodate an ageing body.

“You have to adapt, the game changes so quickly,” Rosa said.

“You realise you probably can’t do as much as you used to be able to, in terms of training. That’s probably been the biggest change. 

“I’ve really worked with the fitness staff to find a good balance and focusing more time on recovery and things like that so I can stay out on the park. It took a little bit to get my head around but you definitely do need to adapt as you get older.”

Despite that, Rosa said his body was in good shape heading into the next stage of pre-season training.

“The body is feeling really good and I had a solid training block so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it,” he said.

Along with ensuring his body is as fit as possible, Rosa has relished the opportunity to be looked upon as a leader for what is a very young Suns squad. 

“I’ve been in the leadership group the last couple of years and have enjoyed the responsibility of helping set standards for the group,” he said.

“I think I’m probably the second oldest this year so I definitely try and set a good example.

“It’s a really young group but I think that’s exciting and they keep you feeling young as well.”

As a 200-game veteran, Rosa said he does not tend to make too many long-term aims, and was focusing on heading into the 2018 season in the best shape he can be.

“I don’t look too far ahead past pre-season,” he said.

“It’s all about getting as fit and as strong as I possibly can, that’s been my mindset.”