Greene with envy at AFL Rising Star
The best performed young footballer in the AFL in 2012 is ineligible to win the NAB Rising Star Award including a $20,000 investment portfolio.
Toby Greene’s innocuous bump on Brisbane Lion Jed Adcock in round eight cost the prolific midfielder a one match suspension and almost certainly the coveted award.
Past winners include Nathan Buckley (1993), Chris Scott (1994), Ben Cousins (1996), Adam Goodes (1999), Nick Riewoldt (2002), Sam Mitchell (2003), Brett Deledio (2005) and Joel Selwood (2007).
The number 11 pick in the 2011 National Draft managed 19 games this season averaging a whopping 28.4 possessions a game, six more than his nearest rival, second year Bulldog Mitch Wallis (19 games).
Head to head with veteran opponent Sam Mitchell in round 15, Greene managed 34 disposals, four marks and five tackles to Mitchell’s 33, six, one (and one goal).
Since round 14 Greene has averaged 33.3 disposals, 3.5 marks, 3.2 tackles and 0.7 goals a game, easily the most dominant of his young peers.
Whoever is declared the winner next Monday should feel pretty fortunate given Greene’s dominant season. A consolation for Greene will be the AFLPA’s Best First Year Player Award, which is presented at the MVP Awards night.
On the field Greene reminds me of a young Ben Cousins with his contested ball strength, reading of the play and natural endurance.
Cousins won the Brownlow Medal after ten years in 2005. Mitchell was runner up last year (his tenth season) and so if he stays healthy, Greene has a long career ahead of him to push for the games highest individual honour.
The top remaining chances in this year’s NAB AFL Rising Star Award are:
Jeremy Cameron (GWS, 16 games)
The 195cm 19-year-old has had an outstanding season as a tall marking target in the Giants’ young forward line. Cameron averaged 10 disposals, five marks and 1.8 goals a game, often against to the opposition’s number one defender.
Mitch Wallis (Bulldogs, 19 games)
The son of former Club great Stephen, Mitch wins a lot of the ball, averaging 22.3 disposals, 3.6 marks and 4.2 tackles a game in 2012. Stepping out of his father’s shadow in the 2010 TAC Cup grand final, Wallis gathered 47 disposals helping the Calder Cannons to a commanding win.
Adam Treloar (GWS, 18 games)
After forcing his way into the Giants AFL side in round three, Treloar has become one of their most consistent performers, averaging 21 disposals, 4.8 marks, 2.7 tackles and 0.7 goals a game. After racking up 37 disposals against Collingwood in round 18, Treloar got some welcome advice from his accomplished opponent Scott Pendlebury.
Tom Bugg (GWS, 18 games)
Bugg appeared on the radar in round one when he gathered 27 disposals, five marks and four tackles against Sydney. The small defender has averaged 17.6 disposals, four marks and 3.2 tackles per game, while being given some of the tougher tagging assignments.
Daniel Talia (Crows, 22 games)
The 20-year-old has very capably partnered veteran Ben Rutten in the key defensive posts for the Crows this year. While only averaging 8.2 disposals, 2.6 marks and 1.9 tackles per game, impressively Talia has only conceded an average of one goal per game to his opponent.
Josh Caddy (Suns, 22 games)
The out-of-contract and in demand 19-year-old has averaged 15.2 disposals, 3.6 marks, 2.6 tackles and 0.7 goals a game this season. The early favourite for the award got the season off to a fast start but plateaued until he managed three crucial goals against Carlton, effectively burying their finals hopes.
Brandon Ellis (Tigers, 21 games)
Arguably the quiet achiever of this bunch, the young Tiger has managed 21 games this season in a competitive midfield unit. Averaging 15.7 disposals, 3.8 marks and 1.7 tackles a game, Ellis’ hard work and dedication to his AFL career has been rewarded by all at Punt Road.
Chad Wingard (Power, 19 games)
The South Australian with strong leadership qualities has impressed at Alberton in his first season. Averaging 12.5 disposals, 1.9 marks and 2.4 tackles a game, the Power are excited about the young midfielder’s future as they continue their rebuild.