Brisbane Lions young gun Daniel Rich has taken out the honors for the first Rising Star nomination for 2009. The 19-year-old was taken with the Lions pick #7 in the 2008 national draft after it was widely expected that the Dockers would take him with their first pick in the draft, pick #3.
It was not to be though, in the days before the draft the Dockers were rumored have penciled in another Western Australian youngster, Stephen Hill, which was what eventuated.
Rich was continually overlooked by clubs until he fell into the hands of the Lions at pick #7. Many experts labeled him as a ready made AFL player due to the fact he had been playing with men with bigger bodies in the WAFL and was already a standout.
On Saturday night Rich made his debut against West Coast, the club he grew up supporting but confirmed has left it all in the past.
“I always supported the Eagles but I’m Brisbane through and through now. I didn’t really think about it too much,” he said.
“I’ve been at the club now for three months and I don’t really have that mindset at all anymore. They (the Eagles) are just another team to me now.”
Carltons Mitch Robinson and Essendons Michael Hurley would have been contenders for the nomination in round one after also making standout debuts.