Through the NAB AFL Rising Star Program, we have been helping Australia's most talented young footballers reach their potential since 2002.
The Rising Star Award is given to the most outstanding up-and-coming player following each home and away season. The players must be under 21 years young, and have played less than 10 AFL games to be eligible. Nominations are made following each game by an expert panel.
Each of the 23 nominees receive a NAB Club Recognition Award for their junior club, which consists of a practical and financial resource pack valued at $2,500.
Beyond Rising Star (the pinnacle of the program) we support young players on their path to the big stage through the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships, NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, the AIS-AFL Academy and the NAB AFL Draft.
Fair to say we are proud to support footy from grassroots right through to the elite.
2013 NAB AFL Rising Star Nominees
Round 1 – Oliver Wines
Hard-running midfielder Oliver Wines from the Port Adelaide Football Club is the Round One NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.
In his impressive AFL debut, the 18-year-old was one of Port Adelaide’s best performers and made a considerable contribution to the team’s 79-point victory over Melbourne.
Oliver finished the match with 24 possessions, 16 of which were contested. The youngster also took seven marks, had three clearances, three score assists and kicked a goal.
Port Adelaide coach, Ken Hinkley, said it was fantastic to see such great form from Oliver in Round One and that this was a sign of good things to come.
“Ollie’s NAB AFL Rising Star nomination is a great reward for the effort he has put in over the whole pre-season since arriving at Alberton after the Draft,” Hinkley said.
“He put in a really strong performance on the weekend and, as he has done across the NAB Cup, continued to play his role for the team.”
“The football public got to see his great strength in winning contested football and his effort of sixteen contested possessions was outstanding, especially for a young player on debut.”
Oliver was recruited from the Echuca Football Club and the Bendigo Pioneers. He was Port Adelaide’s first selection in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft and the seventh selection overall.
He was named an Under-18 All-Australian in 2012 and is an AIS-AFL Academy Graduate.
Round 2 – Aaron Mullett
North Melbourne Football Club defender, Aaron Mullett, has been selected as the Round Two NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.
The fast-running 21-year-old has made a flying start to season 2013 and was amongst the Kangaroos’ top performers in the thrilling showdown against the Geelong Cats over the weekend.
Aaron collected 21 possessions, had six tackles, five marks and kicked a goal.
His Round One performance was much the same, with Aaron finishing the match with an impressive 22 possessions and a goal.
After playing four of the first six games of the 2012 season and a solid season in the VFL, Aaron was then recalled to the North Melbourne team in Round 19 and again in Round 23.
Kangaroos Coach, Brad Scott, said Aaron’s good form is reward for the hard work which saw him elevated to the club’s senior list.
“Aaron has had a really great pre-season this year and we’re pleased with how he’s developing and maturing as a player. He has worked hard to apply himself and improve on the natural skill and football attributes which he has,” Scott said.
Selection 24 in the 2011 NAB AFL Rookie Draft, Aaron was then chosen as pick 91 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.
Aaron was recruited from the Mooroolbark Football Club and the Eastern Ranges. He also represented Vic Metro in the 2010 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Round 3 – Jed Anderson
Jed Anderson from the Hawthorn Football Club is the NAB AFL Rising Star nominee for Round Three.
Jed made his AFL debut in Round One after strong performances in the NAB Cup and has played all three games this season. Jed was a Greater Western Sydney-zoned player who was traded in 2012 in exchange for Stephen Gilham and selection 63.
The 19-year-old midfielder had 16 touches and kicked a goal in Hawthorn’s 55 point win over Collingwood at the MCG last Sunday.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said Jed has adapted well to AFL football.
“Jed has had a great summer and impressed his coaches and teammates on the track with his application and attitude.
“Considering this is his first year at an AFL club, it speaks volumes about the quality of the lad and his football ability that he has featured in all three of our games this season.
“It has been really pleasing that Jed, along with other youngsters Bradley Hill and Round Three debutant Taylor Duryea, have earned a senior berth through their hard work and talent and have all contributed to the side with solid performances,” he said.
He was recruited from the Darwin Buffalos Football Club. He represented the Northern Territory in the 2011 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. He was named in the 2011 Under-18 All-Australian team.
Round 4 – George Horlin-Smith
George Horlin-Smith is the Round Four nominee for the NAB AFL Rising Star.
The young gun played just his fifth game of AFL football this week, showing outstanding composure beyond his years.
Amassing 23 disposals, 15 of which were hard fought contented possessions, Horlin-Smith shone as a star of the future.
Chris Scott shared a similar sentiment saying that Horlin-Smith’s nomination was testament to the player’s development since joining the club.
“George has worked hard in his time here and has earnt his spot in the team and done well at every opportunity.
“He can play a number of roles and read the game very well,” Scott added.
Presented with the choice of pursuing a career in cricket or football, Horlin-Smith followed his dream to become an AFL player and was subsequently selected by Geelong as pick 37 in the NAB AFL Draft in 2010.
Horlin-Smith was recruited from the SANFL Club Sturt and the Payneham Norwood Union Football Club.
Round 5 – Jaeger O'Meara
Jaeger O’Meara from the Gold Coast Suns is the talented young-gun nominated as the Round 5 NAB AFL Rising Star.
In the Suns’ impressive victory over the GWS Giants last Saturday, Jaeger featured heavily, notching up a notable 25 touches including an equal game high of 14 contested possessions.
Jaeger also had 11 clearances – five more than any other player on the field – laid four tackles and kicked two goals. Not bad for a player with only 5 games under his belt!
Coach Guy McKenna was not surprised to see the 19-year-old improve from week to week so far in 2013.
“He's had 18 months to put his learnings into practice and it’s been pleasing that we have been able to see the benefit of that at the elite level and that's a credit to his professionalism," said McKenna.
"His attitude and intensity together with his ability to crack in and win the contested footy and work both ways is fantastic and he will continue to improve the more he plays at this level.”
Jaeger was originally recruited from Dongara and came to the Suns in 2011 via the Greater Western Sydney 17-year-old mini-draft where he was selection number one.
An outstanding junior player, Jaeger was an Under-18 All-Australian in 2011 and was a member of the AIS-AFL Academy squad.