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Deledio tabbed for Rising Star

The No.1 selection at the 2004 NAB AFL Draft, Richmond’s Brett Deledio, has won the round eight nomination for the NAB AFL Rising Star medal.

The 18-year-old from Kyabram has played all eight of the Tigers matches to date, averaging 13 touches and four marks in a side that has won already won six matches.

Deledio is fast, skilful and a terrific mark, and has slotted in nicely to the Tiger line-up across half-back.

He was named an All-Australian after the 2004 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. In 2003, he shared the Kevin Sheehan Medal as the best player in division one at the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships.

Being the top selection at last year's draft, Deledio didn't think he'd be an automatic nomination for the medal.

"Not necessarily. It would have been nice to get it somewhere along the line but I'm obviously happy to receive it here in round eight," the young star said at Punt Road Oval on Tuesday.

His coach Terry Wallace last week expressed surprise that Deledio hadn't yet been nominated after a series of consistent performances to start the season. The young Tiger had a slightly different view.

"There's plenty of young guys out there playing good footy. To be nominated as one of them is a good honour."

Despite slotting so comfortably into the Richmond team, the 18-year-old admits the jump to senior AFL level was greater than he thought it would be.

"It's a massive step up to be playing against guys that are twice as big as you and just as fast. You've got to be thinking all the time and making sure your hands are nice and clean," Deledio said.

"It's heaps bigger than what I thought it would be. The step up has just been massive."

The No.1 pick is one of four draftees to already debut for the Tigers this year, including No.4 selection Richard Tambling, No.12 pick Danny Meyer and the 16th selection Adam Pattison.

"It's great," Deledio said of the youngsters playing senior football together. "To be playing alongside Danny and Richy and Patto, it's been fantastic getting all the first-year draft picks to be playing together."