Western Bulldogs youngster Tom Boyd has been rewarded for a career-best four goals on Saturday night, and received the Rising Star nomination for Round 12.
The key forward collected 12 disposals (10 contested), a career-high seven marks, and four contested marks during the club’s 72-point win over the Lions at Etihad Stadium.
The 19-year-old has played every game in his second season, averaging seven disposals, three marks, and booted 15 majors – third at the club – across 11 matches. He’s kicked multiple goals in five matches so far in 2015 and is second for contested marks.
“He’s been playing against the best key defenders every week and that’s why we’re so happy with the way he’s been going because he takes that off the rest of his teammates.” – luke beveridge
The 2013 No.1 draft pick made his much-hyped debut last season in his only year for the Giants. He played nine games and kicked eight goals in his short stint with the club.
The 200cm forward decided to return home to Victoria at the end of 2014 and was traded to the Dogs in a deal that saw Ryan Griffin and pick No.7 in the national draft go to GWS – which they used to draft Caleb Marchbank. Marchbank made his AFL debut on the weekend against North Melbourne.
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said after the game on Saturday night that the Bulldogs have been satisfied with Boyd’s development.
“He’s had one or two sliding doors moments in games where he should’ve kicked two or three in first quarters of games gone by but tonight he capitalised,” Beveridge said.
“He should’ve ended up with five but it’s good for him to get a handful and get some reward on the scoreboard for his work but that’s not where we judge his performance.
“We were really pleased with his defensive side as well. He held them up quite a number of times on turnovers but it’s nice for him to get the monkey off his back a little bit, I’d say. Once you kick more than two goals it’s good and four is obviously even better.
“He’s learning to do that from week-to-week. I think he might’ve got one or two free kicks tonight which is great but there’s no doubt that’s a piece of the puzzle as a young player that doesn’t come straight away at this level.
“He’s been playing against the best key defenders every week and that’s why we’re so happy with the way he’s been going because he takes that off the rest of his teammates.
“He’s an imposing young man. As time goes by and he continues to develop his tank and work like he did today, he’s just going to be harder and harder to stop.
“But I think it’s important to have balance in his game and have the occasional run in the ruck when he’s not getting the supply, he did that tonight and he’s a terrific team man.”
Boyd is the Bulldogs’ 32nd player to be nominated for the award since its inception in 1993. Teammate Mitch Honeychurch is the club’s other contender, nominated in Round 2 this season.
Boyd’s selection makes it the third consecutive season in which the club has had two or more nominations for the award, following Marcus Bontempelli, Jake Stringer and Nathan Hrovat last season, and Jackson Macrae and Michael Talia in 2013.
RISING STAR NOMINEES FOR 2015
Round 1 – Kamdyn McIntosh (Richmond)
Round 2 – Mitch Honeychurch (Western Bulldogs)
Round 3 – Isaac Heeney (Sydney Swans)
Round 4 – Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
Round 5 – Adam Saad (Gold Coast SUNS)
Round 6 – Cory Gregson (Geelong)
Round 7 – Billy Hartung (Hawthorn)
Round 8 – Cameron McCarthy (GWS Giants)
Round 9 – Jesse Hogan (Melbourne)
Round 10 – Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne)
Round 11 – Tim Broomhead (Collingwood)
Round 12 – Tom Boyd (Western Bulldogs)