AFL RISING STAR: Tim Taranto

Former Sandringham Dragons midfielder/forward Tim Taranto was nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star award following Round 8.

The 186cm 17-year-old recorded 21 disposals, 10 contested possessions, five tackles and four inside-50s for GWS in the club’s thrilling three-point victory over Collingwood at Spotless Stadium on Saturday.

Having being selected by the Giants with pick no.2 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, Taranto has made an instant impact for one of the premiership favourites, playing seven matches since debuting in Round 1 and averaging 16 disposals and four tackles per game.

The Mordialloc-Braeside (South Metro Junior FL) product was a crucial member of Sandringham’s 2016 TAC Cup premiership team, racking up 31 disposals, 11 tackles and five inside-50s in its 17-point Grand Final triumph over the Murray Bushrangers.

He averaged 27 disposals, seven marks and six tackles per game as well as kicking 14 goals in 10 total TAC Cup matches, seeing him earn selection in the TAC Cup Team of the Year.

Taranto also represented Vic Metro in its undefeated NAB AFL U18 Championships campaign last year, averaging 19 disposals and one goal per game across four matches and subsequently being named in the U18 All Australian team.

He joins 2016 Dragons premiership teammate Andrew McGrath (Essendon) and ex-Bushrangers defender Caleb Marchbank (Carlton) as former TAC Cup players nominated for the Rising Star award in 2017.

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