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Good as Golby

Mitch Golby has had to fight for his chance at AFL level
MITCH Golby doesn't fit the classic bill of a Rising Star.

Some, like last week's nominee, Stephen Coniglio can slot straight into senior football with the high profile that comes with being an early draft pick.

Coniglio's credentials cannot be questioned and he is one of the favourites to take out the award.

Golby, however, has had to prove himself to the doubters and deal with a number of setbacks before getting his nomination for the NAB AFL Rising Star award at age 20.

Golby remains a relative unknown to most outside the Brisbane Lions but his 24-possession game against Greater Western Sydney could be a sign that a higher profile is on the way.

It was just his 16th AFL game but one of his more impressive in his role coming off half-back and spending time in the midfield.

"That was probably my best game. It's pretty handy getting my hands on the pill but it's just good that we got the win, which is the main thing," Golby told AFL.com.au.

Golby has played every one of the Lions' eight games this season. While that won't be setting any records for durability, it is a milestone that even he may have thought impossible at stages over the past few seasons.

The Lions initially rookie-listed Golby in 2010 despite him undergoing a knee reconstruction several months earlier.

He was back playing football for the Lions' reserves team in May, but made it to just his second match before re-injuring his knee. An arthroscopic clean-up soon followed and Golby started to genuinely doubt if he was going to make it at the elite level.

"When I hurt it in that second game back I thought 'here we go again' but since then I've had all the confidence in it and it's held up well," he said.

"I've been able to do two pre-seasons now which is always handy."

The 20-year-old is forever grateful to the Lions for their initial show of faith and support through some tough times in the first part of his career.

"I sort of thought once I did my knee that I wouldn't get drafted and I'd go back and play with Gippsland (Power) as a 19-year-old," he said.

"As the year progressed, Brisbane showed a fair bit more interest and as they kept talking to me I thought I might be half a chance. Draft day rolled around and I didn't get picked but Graham Hadley gave me a ring just before the rookie draft and said they would most likely take me with their first pick."

He was rookie listed and has since become a permanent member of the Lions after being taken in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft.

He has made the most of every chance he has had since then and while he has played every game so far this season, he is far from secure that his place in the team is permanent.

"I've still got plenty to prove," he said.

"I'm still working on aspects of my game and just trying to find that balance between attack and defence."

Luke Holmesby is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter - @AFL_Luke
 
The views in this story are those of the author and not necessarily those of the clubs or the AFL