We’ve known for a while now that it wasn’t a question of whether young West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui would get a Rising Star nomination, but when he would get it. Now four weeks into season 2010 and the 19-year-old has finally been nominated.
Last Fridays clash against Essendon was his 14th senior game for the Eagles and it was obvious from the very first bounce that Naitanui was a standout. and finished the game with an overall 17 hitouts, 13 disposals (10 of which were contested) and five tackles.
Teaming up with 4 time All-Australian ruckman Dean Cox, the pair had a devastating effect on the Bombers and were vital in their 23-point win over the Bombers.
Naitanui made his debut in round 12 last season after being drafted with pick No.2 by West Coast in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft. He went on to play 10 games that season and quickly became a cult figure throughout the football community and in particular by the west Coast supporters.
“Nic is a very exciting developing player and is certainly capturing the imagination of the public,” coach John Worsfold said.
“He is still learning, but has a great appetite for the game, so he’s a great young player to coach.”
Naitanui joins Chris Yarran (Carlton), Daniel Hannebery (Sydney) and Ryan Bastinac (North Melbourne) as this seasons Rising Star Nominees.
Naitanui is currently the favourite to win the award, you can bet on the Rising Star with Centrebet.com