Jake Stringer’s strong finish to the 2014 season has earned him the Round 20 Rising Star nomination.
Unlucky not to get the nod after his five-goal effort two weeks ago, the powerful forward kicked four majors and collected 16 disposals – 10 contested – in the Dogs’ win over St Kilda on Sunday.
Stringer has been a revelation in the second half of the season, kicking 16 goals in his last six weeks since returning from omission in Round 15.
Though standing at the height of 192cm and below a conventional key position player, Stringer has been the attacking option the Dogs have been craving since Barry Hall retired in 2011.
Stringer has played 15 games in his second AFL season, kicking 20 goals and averaging 12 disposals a game. His late season form has coincided with the Dogs’ recent surge that’s seen the club win three of its past six matches since Stringer returned to the side.
The 25-gamer told afl.com.au it’s pleasing to be rewarded for consistency.
“It’s nice to get some recognition over the last couple of weeks,” Stringer said.
“It’s always nice to get individual accolades but it’s mainly more about the team and getting a win every weekend.
“It was just good to hit the scoreboard when we needed to and it’s even better to have done it against St Kilda, who were playing for a champion of their club (Lenny Hayes).”
Taken with pick 5 in the 2012 National Draft, Stringer badly broke his leg early in the 2011 season while playing for TAC Cup side Bendigo and missed the rest of the season.
Recruiters feared he would never fully recover but the Dogs were prepared to be patient and swooped with their first selection in the 2012 draft, taking ball-magnet Jackson Macrae with the following pick and also selecting Nathan Hrovat and Lachie Hunter later on.
Stringer follows Hrovat and Rising Star favourite Marcus Bontempelli as the club’s nominations this season and is the eighth Dog to be nominated since 2011.
The Dogs now have 31 nominations – the seventh most of any club – but are yet to feature a winner in the awards 21-year history, with club captain Ryan Griffin the closest after finishing runner-up in 2005.