Brisbane’s recent good fortunes have continued with youngster Darcy Gardiner receiving the Round 19 Rising Star nomination for his role in the club’s win over Melbourne on Sunday at the MCG.
The young defender had 18 disposals, took 12 marks and had three rebound 50s as the Lions kicked six goals to one in the final term to overrun the Demons.
After a limited pre-season due to a foot injury, the 191cm defender has consolidated a spot in the Brisbane backline and played all 13 games since debuting against the Tigers in Round 5.
The tough and athletic tall has averaged 11 disposals and close to four marks across his 13 matches since being selected at pick 22 in last year’s draft – the second of six draft picks the Lions had inside the top 40 last November.
Determined not to venture down the same path as other high draft picks last year, the Victorian-born Gardiner signed a contract extension this month to keep him at Brisbane until the end of 2016.
He told afl.com.au staying in Queensland was an easy decision.
“You have a little think about it. But there wasn’t much hesitation there once they put something out to us. I was pretty happy to get it done and move on,” Gardiner said.
“With all those contract extensions – there’s been a few throughout the year with the younger boys – I reckon everyone’s pretty excited about the next couple of years.”
Gardiner is the Lions third nomination for the season following James Aish and Lewis Taylor, taking the club to 34 nominations – the equal-most of any club – in the award’s history.
Darcy Gardiner is eligible for this year’s #22under22 team. Will he make the team? Let us know in the comment box below.
Q&A with Darcy Gardiner
Which junior club did you play for?
Queenscliff Football Club, Victoria
Who did you barrack for before getting drafted?
Who was your favourite player?
What do you most like to do away from football?
Greatest influence on your career to date?
Who is the person you would most like to meet?
What’s your greatest non-football achievement?
Completing high school
If I wasn’t a footballer I’d be…?
A university student
I love football because..?
I enjoy the challenge