Young Western Bulldogs midfielder Nathan Hrovat has earned the Round 17 Rising Star nomination for his efforts against Gold Coast.
The speedster had a career-high 27 disposals – at 81 percent efficiency – and kicked a goal in the Dogs 28-point win against the Suns in Cairns on Saturday night.
‘Nathan is an emerging leader’ – Brendan McCartney
The 20-year-old forced his way back into the side in Round 11 and has played seven consecutive games after injury delayed his 2014 campaign.
Since joining the Dogs at pick 21 in the 2012 draft, Hrovat has made an impressive start to his AFL career with a 25-disposal performance against Essendon last year and a two-goal display against Brisbane earlier this year.
With 14 AFL matches to his name, he currently averages more contested possessions than any other player eligible for the Rising Star award this season, drawing the praise of Coach Brendan McCartney for his professionalism and preparation.
“Nathan is just a great example of a young person who has a real enjoyment of the game — and along with his obvious talent, but perhaps more importantly his appetite to learn and get better, we see him as an important part of our future,” McCartney said.
“Nathan is an emerging leader, and not only do we see those traits in his professional habits during the week, we are also starting to see it translate to match-day which was evident on Saturday night.”
Dogs have had 7 top-40 picks in past four drafts. Nathan Hrovat the 5th Rising Star nom from that group and Stringer could yet make it six.
— Sam Landsberger (@SamLandsberger) July 14, 2014
Recruited from the Mill Park Junior Football Club in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Hrovat captained the Northern Knights in the 2012 TAC Cup season and was named Vic Metro’s MVP in the same year.
He also received All-Australian honours after his impressive Under-18 Championships display before getting drafted by Dogs at the end of 2012 as part of the trade which sent Brian Lake to Hawthorn.
Hrovat is the second nomination for the Dogs this season following Marcus Bontempelli’s in Round 13 and is the seventh nomination for the club since 2011, highlighting the changing of generations at the Whitten Oval in recent years.
The Dogs now have 30 Rising Star nominations but have never had a winner in the award’s 21-year history.
Hrovat is eligible for this year’s 22under22 team. Will you select him in your side? Let us know in the comment box below.