Fiasco Sports predicts the top five rising stars for the 2014 season.
Marcus Bontempelli, from the Western Bulldogs seems a dead ringer for the 2014 NAB rising star but can anyone topple him?
1. Marcus Bontempelli – Western Bulldogs
One of the youngest players in the competition, Bontempelli is having a standout season even though he has only played 17 games. Averaging 15 touches and nearly a goal a game, the 18-year old has carried his team to some momentous wins on the back of freakish skill. Nevertheless, the vast majority of his purple patch has been in the latter half of the season – can someone with more consistency edge him out?
2. Lewis Taylor – Brisbane Lions
A serious contender after a consistent season with the topsy-turvy Brisbane Lions. Averaging 17 disposals, he has played every game and had a big impact on the Lions gameplay. Possessing great decision making and lightning pace, Taylor is a player for the future and may nudge out Bontempelli. One of the AFL’s prize possessions from the AIS academy.
3. James Aish – Brisbane Lions
The highly touted South Australian product has produced above and beyond what was expected. Locking down a key position in the Lions midfield alongside the likes of Tom Rockliff and has filled Jack Redden’s shoes after he had season ending ankle surgery. Ranked top five at the Lions for tackles, contested ball and overall disposals, Aish is physical and is a solid prospect for the future.
4. Luke Mcdonald – North Melbourne Kangaroos
North would be thanking their lucky stars the father-son rule exists, as Mcdonald has cemented his spot in a finals bound team with a no fuss approach to defending. Epitomising courage, Mcdonald will be a fantastic leader of the club one day and will impact greatly in Norths’ finals campaign. Often tagging players out of a game, his underrated season may be noticed by the right people.
5. Luke Dunstan – St Kilda Saints
A big-bodied recruit from football powerhouse Henley High School in Adelaide, Dunstan has risen to the call of his young, struggling team to fill a midfield void. Interesting to note his team has performed hideously since he has been missing after round 19, they were more competitive with him in the engine room. Would have moved higher up the list if he wasn’t injured.
Honourable mentions go to Zach Merrett of Essendon, Tom Langdon of Collingwood, who would have made the cut if his team held form and finally Kade Kolodjashnij of Gold Coast Suns.
Written by TJ Buttery, @TimothyButtery