Sydney academy recruit Isaac Heeney has received the Rising Star nomination for Round 3.
The first-year player was rewarded for his efforts against growing rivals GWS on Saturday, collecting 10 disposals and kicking four goals while playing as a forward in his side’s 21-point win.
Heeney, playing only his third AFL game, has been a revelation for the Swans so far in 2015, collecting 17 disposals in Rounds 1 and 2.
“He’s hard, he competes well, and he’s composed” – Sydney Swans coach John Longmuire
The 18-year-old was taken with pick 18 in the 2014 national draft after attending the Swans’ academy as a junior. Melbourne offered up the second pick to draft Heeney but, under the academy rules, Sydney matched the Demons’ with their first-round selection to recruit the highly rated youngster.
The blond from Cardiff, 13km west of Newcastle in NSW, began playing senior footy for his local club when he was 15 years old.
After the club’s win on Saturday, Sydney coach John Longmire said Heeney has shown attributes beyond his years in the early part of the season.
“He’s hard, he competes well, and he’s composed as well. Not only was he able to hit the scoreboard tonight but he was able to set a few up. He’s been able to do that over the first three weeks.
“He competes every week and it gives him a real chance when he’s in our forward line. He can go into the midfield as well.”
Heeney is the fourth nomination for the Swans since 2013, following Harry Cunningham and Jake Lloyd last season and Tom Mitchell the year before.
Excluding their premiership year in 2012, Sydney has collected a Rising Star nomination each year since 2008.
The Swans have 23 Rising Star nominations in the award’s 22-year history, including two winners in Dan Hannebery (2010) and Adam Goodes (1999).