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Giant Whitfield grabs round 10 Rising Star nomination

Lachie Whitfield of the Giants in action during the 2013 AFL round 04 match between the Melbourne Demons and the GWS Giants at the MCG, Melbourne on April 21, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Lachie Whitfield is the round 10 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee
Against Port Adelaide, when I got some of the footy in the first half, I thought to myself 'I'm not too lost out here and I can give it a good crack'
Lachie Whitfield
A LONG time ago, Lachie Whitfield set himself a goal to play the first game of his first AFL season. It meant he would need a strong pre-season, to play his role in the NAB Cup, and put his name forward.

After he achieved that – making his AFL debut for Greater Western Sydney against the Sydney Swans in round one – Whitfield's mind turned to holding his spot. That's happened too, missing only one (through rest) of the Giants' 10 games. 

His most recent – a 21-disposal, one-goal game against Carlton on Saturday – has been rewarded with the round 10 NAB AFL Rising Star nomination. 

"I'm pretty excited to get the nomination, even though I don’t think it was the best of the nine I've played," Whitfield told AFL.com.au

The 18-year-old believes that probably came in round four, against Melbourne, or earlier than that in round two against Port Adelaide. 

Whitfield produced a 20-disposal, nine-mark effort against the Power in just his second game, when he also kicked his first goal, and a career-high 24 disposals against Melbourne in round four.

Overall the teenager is averaging just under 17 possessions, five marks and three tackles per contest, and has been named among the GWS best a number of times already.

Either way, the first half of Whitfield's debut AFL season has proved to him how hard the game is, how much work it takes to play every week, and how much running is required. Not that he's been overwhelmed. 

"It's been harder than I thought it would be," he said. 

"But probably against Port Adelaide, when I got some of the footy in the first half, I thought to myself, 'I'm not too lost out here and I can give it a good crack.' That was quite a comforting feeling. The last few weeks against some really good sides has been tough."

Whitfield is a competitor. That is just one of the main reasons the Giants chose him as last year's No.1 pick at the NAB AFL Draft. 

But even though he hasn't tasted victory yet, he is enjoying his new career. 

"I'm absolutely loving it, and loving playing it. It does get a little bit grim when you look at the scoreboard after the final siren, and for the half an hour after the game you're a bit down," Whitfield said. 

"But you come back in on Monday and I love what we do during the week, too. We have a bit of fun with the boys off the field as well as on the training track. I wouldn't want to be in another job."

Where Whitfield is the first GWS nominee this year, at the same point of last season the club had four nominations, en route to a record eight for the season (Jeremy Cameron, Tom Bugg, Stephen Coniglio, Dylan Shiel, Toby Greene, Adam Treloar, Devon Smith and Dom Tyson.) 

Eight will be hard to catch this season, although Whitfield says teammate Aidan Corr should soon join him. 

"I don't think he's too far off. He's played five games in a row now and done well."