Western Bulldogs youngster Marcus Bontempelli has been named the Rising Star nominee for Round 13 following his 22-disposal effort in the upset win over Collingwood.
The nomination capped off a memorable week for the Dogs, who had lost all but one of their previous seven games before holding off the Pies by eight points on Sunday. The win was the first of Bontempelli’s career, and saw him kick his first goal.
Despite being selected with pick four in last year’s National Draft, Bontempelli entered the 2014 season expecting not to see much AFL game-time. Speaking with aflplayers.com.au in February, the 18-year-old said, “I guess there are personal ambitions but it’s probably a bit early even for that… managing expectations is important for now.”
Bontempelli has strung together six of the past eight matches since making his debut in Round 5. Though he shows no sign of getting ahead of himself, his emotions were on show on Sunday as he embraced his father on the boundary line after the match.
— SuperFooty (AFL) (@superfooty) June 17, 2014
“It was unbelievable. To walk the boundary line and see all my family and friends at the gate, I was stoked,” Bontempelli told the Herald Sun.
“The picture really cements [the moment] in my mind and to share the moment made it more invaluable.”
Marcus Bontempelli is eligible for this year’s 22under22 team. Will you be voting for him in your final side? Let us know in the comment box below.
Q&A with Marcus Bontempelli
Which junior club did you play for?
Eltham Panthers JFC
Who did you barrack for before getting drafted?
Who was your favourite player?
Wayne Campbell/Matthew Richardson
What do you most like to do away from football?
Relax, spend time with family, and play some golf
Greatest influence on your career to date?
Dad and my cousins, Nick and Luke
Person you would most like to meet?
Greatest non-football achievement?
National Basketball School Boy Champions
If I wasn’t a footballer I’d be…?
I love football because…?
I love being challenged and I love the mateship.
Read more about Marcus Bontempelli’s journey to the Western Bulldogs here.