Highly touted youngster, Jack Martin, has capped a strong finish to his disrupted first season with the last Rising Star nomination for 2014.
The Gold Coast midfielder was rewarded for his 19 disposals and four goals in the loss to the Eagles on Sunday to win the Round 23 nomination.
The 19-year-old collected 14 kicks, four inside 50s, ten contested possessions and took seven marks – three of them contested – during the Suns 52 point loss at Metricon Stadium in what turned out to be their last game for the season.
Martin was selected by the Suns in the 2012 GWS ‘mini-draft’ and arrived at the club with big wraps and was forced to wait a year playing in NEAFL while on Gold Coast’s list.
Like Jaeger O’Meara before him, Martin was favourite to win the Rising Star award before making his long-awaited debut in Round 1 but was struck down by a shoulder injury which kept him out of the side until Round 14.
Blessed with super skills and poise with the ball, he played the last ten matches of the season and averaged 11 disposals and kicked ten goals in his debut season.
AFL legend, Malcolm Blight – who coached the likes of Gary Ablett senior and Darren Jarman – told the Gold Coast Suns website last year that, despite his light frame, Martin has all the attributes to make him one of the best players in the game.
“Jack’s got it all. The tape I saw… I probably shouldn’t say this, but I think it’s the best tape I’ve ever seen,” Blight said.
“Size doesn’t matter for him. I’ve already seen him take on six foot nine, six foot ten blokes and tackle them. It just seems that he’s got this wonderful strength in his body already.”
Martin follows teammate Kade Kolodjashnij as the Suns nominations for 2014, taking the club to nine nominees in the award since entering the competition in the 2011 season.
The Rising Star winner will be crowned on Wednesday.