tmedia
Main content

Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Rising Star nod a surprise for speedy Swan Harry Cunningham

Travis King  June 30, 2014 7:30 PM

Cunningham's stellar season Harry Cunningham is the Round 15 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee
AFL 2014 Rd 15 - Sydney v GWS Giants

Swans youngster Harry Cunningham is the round 15 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee

I suppose it's a bit of a reward for a bit of work over time
SYDNEY Swans forward Harry Cunningham is still pinching himself after being named the round 15 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

By Cunningham's own admission, he's played better games this season than his 17-disposal, seven-mark performance in the Swans' 46-point win over cross-town rivals Greater Western Sydney at the SCG on Saturday night.

In round 12 he kicked four goals against Gold Coast, while he had 22 touches and laid seven tackles in the hard-fought triumph over Richmond two weeks ago.

But, now in his third season, the 20-year-old from Wagga has been rewarded for his consistency.

"It's a bit of a shock, but I'll take it," Cunningham told AFL.com.au.

"I don't think I had my best game on the weekend, but I believe I've been in reasonably good form.

"I suppose it's a bit of a reward for a bit of work over time."

Cunningham battled a medial ligament injury and then knee tendinitis problems last year, but returned late in the season and played in a preliminary final in just his sixth career game.

With a full pre-season under his belt, the former rookie has kicked on to play every match this year and he's averaging 13 possessions, four marks and nearly a goal a game.

Stats aside, it's his unselfish attitude and preparedness to work hard for his teammates that has impressed the Swans and, it seems, the Rising Star judges.

"Everything I've been doing has been valued pretty highly in the club which is the most important thing," Cunningham said.

"Again on the weekend I did a lot of things that the team values, so that was a positive out of it.

"Whether it's spreading to create space for someone else, working hard, or the pressure acts. 

"Just the work rate that I've had consistently for a while now, it might not pay out on the stats sheet but it opens up for everyone else in the team."

The Swans have won 10 straight games – their longest streak since 1935 – after starting the season 1-3, but Cunningham isn't about to get carried away.

"We're going all right, we're just playing the type of footy we're known to do and we like to play," he said. 

"Because we're playing well it makes individuals play well and that's what's happened to me."

Cunningham becomes the first Swan to be nominated for the award since Tom Mitchell in round 11 last year.

Junior club – Turvey Park
TAC club – NSW ACT Rams