Noah on a consistent arc of improvement in Suns midfield

Noah on a consistent arc of improvement in Suns midfield

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First, it was Matt Rowell.

A week later, Connor Budarick joined him, before the electrifying Izak Rankine burst onto the scene.

And after the Suns cruised to their fourth win for the season on the weekend, the club had produced as many Rising Star nominations.

With 12 kicks and five marks combined with three tackles and a goal, Noah Anderson became the fourth rising star Sun in just seven rounds.

Previously, the earliest a club had produced four rising stars was the GWS Giants in 2012, whose quartet came after 10 rounds.

For Suns midfield coach Tate Kaesler, Anderson’s nomination comes as no surprise, as the Oakleigh Chargers product begins to shine through with an impressive blend of consistency and competitiveness.

“That’s something we’ve seen early on in his football career here at the Suns,” Kaesler told aflplayers.com.au.

“I’d say if you looked at our midfield for the first part of this season, he would be one of the most consistent performers for our group.

“His ability to communicate and organise for a first-year player is something that has really shone through for us and something that we’re really excited about.”

Under the guidance of a host of senior Suns, including two-time premiership player Brandon Ellis, Anderson is beginning to catch eyes on the wing, while also showcasing skill in the forward line and as an inside midfielder.

“His work rate is phenomenal, he’s his own player and he has really owned his role in the team as a wingman,” Kaesler said.

“He has the ability to go forward as well and we think he can be quite dangerous there, but then also has the potential to play as an inside mid.

“[On the weekend], we saw him run with the ball in hand and have a few shots on goal.

“That was probably a moment where we thought he really began to understand all three phases of the game: around the contest, offense and defence.

“He was able to put all three phases together consistently.”

The second selection of last year’s national draft, Anderson joined the Suns with number one pick and close mate Matt Rowell, and the driven duo are giving the Gold Coast plenty to be excited about.

“When you look at both of them, they are two really humble guys that come from great families,” Kaesler said.

“In the end, Noah as well as Matthew, want our club to be successful and that’s the pleasing part as a coach— it becomes really easy to coach these guys when they’re driven.

“Noah is really good at getting the group involved during the week and creating little games around each other to improve themselves as well as other people.

“It becomes really exciting from a coach’s perspective that we’ve got some guys like this that want to take us forward.”

While the individual brilliance of Gold Coast’s young Suns has already gained wide recognition, Kaesler says the club-first culture of its up-and-coming stars is well-exemplified by Anderson.

“He’s a really humble kid, he’s self-driven and he’s a kid that’s here for the right reasons and wants the club to be successful.

“I think as a coach when you get those types of players, it can make your job so much easier.

“He’s a great get for us and it’s a really exciting future.”

AFL RISING STAR NOMINEES IN 2020

Round 1 — Sam Sturt (Fremantle)

Round 2 — Matthew Rowell (Gold Coast Suns)

Round 3 — Connor Budarick (Gold Coast Suns)

Round 4 — Tom Green (GWS Giants)

Round 5 — Curtis Taylor (North Melbourne)

Round 6 — Izak Rankine (Gold Coast Suns)

Round 7 — Noah Anderson (Gold Coast Suns)

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