FIRST-year Gold Coast Sun Jack Bowes didn't know what he was in for when head coach Rodney Eade requested a private chat.
It was the week leading up to the Suns' first-round clash with the Brisbane Lions - and barely four months since the 19-year-old from Cairns had been handed his jumper from Eade after being taken at No.10 in last year's national draft.
"I was in the gym, and he said 'can you come into my office after your session'," Bowes recalled. "I thought I might have done something wrong.
"I went in there and he said 'congratulations, you're playing'. I was in shock for a bit ... but yeah, stoked."
The versatile utility said it had been a "dream come true" to make his debut so early, but it was well deserved after impressing on the track from the moment he went from being a Suns Academy graduate to senior player.
"I did everything I could throughout the pre-season to give myself the opportunity (to debut)," he said. "I just wanted to keep ticking the boxes."
He has played every game since, including the historic win over Hawthorn in round three, and will take on the might of Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
While he has been described as a midfield "Rolls-Royce", Bowes was thrown into defence early, before drifting forward last week in the win over Carlton to complete another first - a goal on the big stage.
"I was lucky Lynchy (Tom Lynch) dropped a sitter," he recalled.
"The way the boys got around me (after kicking the goal), it's something I'll never forget."
It's been a whirlwind introduction to the big league made even more special by having Gary Ablett and Matt Rosa as his mentors.
"You sort of just see them as your mates and your teammates now," he said.
"But, obviously, you look up to them as role models and you just want to soak up as much information as you can.
"They are really great blokes, I've gone out for coffee with them a couple of times, talked about life and footy. Basically any questions I've got they're willing to answer. They've been really good like that."
Bowes, having been entrenched in the club as a part of its academy since coming from Cairns a few years ago, was only too happy to sign a contract extension before he even made that debut.
He was joined in inking new deals by fellow draftees Will Brodie, Ben Ainsworth and Jack Scrimshaw, who he now lives with.
"We've got a real bond that is only going to strengthen over the years," he said.
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