Former Calder Cannons defender Luke Ryan is the Round 20 nomination for the NAB AFL Rising Star award.
The 21-year-old intercept and rebound specialist recorded 28 disposals (21 kicks) at 86 per cent efficiency, 16 marks (including nine intercept marks – the second-most ever recorded) and five rebound-50s in Fremantle’s 23-point win against Gold Coast at Domain Stadium on Saturday night.
186cm Ryan was selected by the Dockers from Coburg in the Peter Jackson VFL with pick no.66 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft and has played eight matches since making his AFL debut in Round 11, averaging 17 disposals, seven marks and four rebound-50s per game.
The Maribyrnong Park (Essendon District FL), Moonee Valley (EDFL), Aberfeldie (EDFL) and Werribee Districts (Western Region FL) junior played nine TAC Cup games for the Cannons in 2014-15 before winning last year’s Fothergill-Round Medal for the VFL’s most promising player under 23 following his 10-game season at Coburg.
Ryan is the 14th former TAC Cup player to be nominated for the Rising Star award in 2017 after Essendon’s Andrew McGrath (ex-Sandringham Dragons), Carlton’s Caleb Marchbank (Murray Bushrangers), GWS’ Tim Taranto (Sandringham), Collingwood’s Tom Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers), Richmond’s Dan Butler (GWV Rebels), Carlton’s David Cuningham (Oakleigh), Carlton’s Jack Silvagni (Oakleigh), Brisbane’s Hugh McCluggage (GWV), Hawthorn’s Blake Hardwick (Eastern Ranges), Carlton’s Charlie Curnow (Geelong Falcons), Brisbane’s Alex Witherden (Geelong), Sydney’s Lewis Melican (Geelong) and Richmond’s Jason Castagna (Northern Knights).