Written by AFL Online on 5th Sep 2012
Adelaide defender Daniel Talia has won the AFL Rising Star award in his second senior season.
The 20-year-old has played 31 matches for the Crows and will make his finals debut on Saturday in the home qualifying final against Sydney.
Talia is the first Crows player to win the prestigious award.
He polled 43 votes, with Greater Western Sydney forward Jeremey Cameron next on 35 and Western Bulldogs midfielder Mitch Wallis finishing third with 19.
Talia has played 22 games this season, building a strong reputation as a key defender.
Team-mates have nicknamed him “Presti” for his ability to spoil, after retired Collingwood defender Simon Prestigiacomo.
He is also known as The Blanket and Iron Fist for his defensive prowess.
Talia earned his nomination in round 12 for a strong defensive game on St Kilda star Nick Riewoldt.
“It’s a huge honour, I don’t think I really expected it,” Talia said at Wednesday’s lunch in Melbourne.
“It’s come as a surprise, we’re focussed on the finals and haven’t really talked about it – obviously it’s a huge honour.”
Talia just fell within the award’s criteria, which stipulates that a player cannot have played more than 10 games that season.
He debuted last year for Adelaide with nine matches after overcoming a pre-season Achilles injury.
Greater Western Sydney midfielder Toby Greene probably would have won the award, but he was ineligible because of suspension.