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AFL: Rising Star contenders

The AFL Rising Star is an annual award presented to the best young player in the AFL for the season.

To be eligible for the award, you must be under the age of 21 and played no more than 10 AFL games before the start of the season.

A player will also become ineligible if they are suspended during the season.

The award was first presented in 1993 and was won by Nathan Buckley, who went on to have a great career in the AFL.

Other players that have won the Rising Star and gone on to have illustrious careers, include Adam Goodes, Sam Mitchell, Nick Reiwoldt and Joel Selwood.

Collingwood superstar Nick Daicos won the award in 2022 and North Melbourne’s Harry Sheezel in 2023.

There is some exciting talent to be unveiled in the 2024 season, so let’s take a look at the main contenders to win the Rising Star award.

Harley Reid

Reid is the hot fancy to win the Rising Star and can be backed at 3.00 to take the honours.

Ben Cousins was the last West Coast Eagles player to win the Rising Star in 1996, but Reid has a great chance of snapping the drought.

The AFL No.1 draft pick, Reid is one of the most hyped draftees in recent seasons, and expectations will be high.

The 18-year-old midfielder will make his debut in round one, and all eyes will be on him.

George Wardlaw

North Melbourne have another couple of players who are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Harry Sheezel and win the Rising Star.

Wardlaw is the first of them and can be backed at 5.50 to win the award.

He made eight AFL appearances in 2022, but after suffering an injury hit 2023 campaign, midfielder is still eligible to win the Rising Star.

The 19-year-old did play in round 10 in 2023, and his experience of playing in the AFL, albeit limited, could serve him well.

Colby McKercher

McKercher is expected to shine in his debut season for North Melbourne and will be out to pip his team-mate Wardlaw to the Rising Star award.

The Kangaroos used their first selection to snap up the midfielder in the 2023 AFL draft, and hopes are high.

The 18-year-old has been described as a dynamic midfielder with bags of pace and he should make his debut early in the season.

He is 6.00 to win the Rising Star award.

Ryley Sanders

Sanders is a ball-winning midfielder who was a team-mate of McKercher at the Allies, but will play his footy with the Western Bulldogs.

He was snapped up via pick No.6 at the 2023 National Draft and will be looking make his mark in the 2024 AFL season.

Sanders is priced at 8.00 to win the Rising Star.

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