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Nathan Hrovat nominated for NAB AFL Rising Star Award

Hrovat another young Dogs star Watch the best of round 16 Rising Star nominee Nathan Hrovat
Nathan Hrovat has been a vital addition to an improving Bulldogs midfield - ${keywords}
Nathan Hrovat has been a vital addition to an improving Bulldogs midfield
You just take your opportunities when they come and that’s what I’ve tried to do
Nathan Hrovat
ANOTHER of the Western Bulldogs’ promising pups has delivered a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination to the Kennel, with Nathan Hrovat receiving the round 17 gong.
 
In just his 14th game, Hrovat played a leading role in the Dogs’ uplifting 28-point win over Gold Coast in Cairns on Saturday,
 
The polished half-forward gathered 27 possessions – including 11 contested – took five marks and booted a late goal to put the icing on a career-best performance.
 
“It gives you confidence knowing that you can perform like that at AFL level,” Hrovat told AFL.com.au.
 
“It’s been really good with the coaching staff - and with ‘Gia’ (Daniel Giansiracusa) and ‘Dal’ (Luke Dahlhaus) - we have an emphasis down at the Doggies just to play your role.
 
“No-one asks anything more of you and I think when you can do that, the rest just takes care of itself.”


Saturday’s contest was Hrovat’s seventh game this season after he suffered a broken cheekbone and then a torn calf earlier in the year.
 
He forced his way into the side against Fremantle in round 11 and has held his place since, averaging 16 disposals per game.
 
Hrovat was made to earn his spot but one of his outstanding qualities is a willingness to work hard.
 
Before his final year of under-18s, the 175cm youngster was more of a draft hopeful than certainty.
 
Through sheer weight of performance, Hrovat rocketed up the order and was selected with pick No.21 overall in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.
 
He turned heads by claiming Vic Metro’s MVP award at the under-18s championships – also earning an All Australian guernsey - and by winning the Northern Knight’s best-and-fairest from only eight games.
 
“The year before I didn’t perform that well and I really put my head down in 2012,” Hrovat said.
 
“It just gave me confidence to know that if you do work hard that rewards will come.
 
“You just take your opportunities when they come and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”
 
Hrovat, 20, joins teammate Marcus Bontempelli, the round 13 nominee, among the candidates for this year’s Rising Star award.
 
They follow Jack Macrae, Liam Jones, Mitch Wallis, Luke Dahlhaus and Michael Talia as Dogs nominees since 2011. However their teammate, and one of the AFL’s elite midfielders, Tom Liberatore, was never nominated.
 
It makes for a promising nucleus of future stars at coach Brendan McCartney’s disposal and Hrovat is confident the Dogs, who have won three of their past five, are on the right track.
 
“Our whole group’s pretty tight and ‘Macca’s’ brought that culture of all being brothers but between the younger guys we’re a really, really tight-knit group,” he said.
 
“We know the journey that the club is taking us on and everyone’s really into it.
 
“The big thing is everyone’s happy to be at the club. When you’ve got that it’s just a matter of time until players gel with each other and you start to see the performance.”

NATHAN HROVAT
Auskick centre: South Morang
Junior club: St Mary’s Greensborough JFC
TAC Cup: Northern Knights