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Pressure won't get to Bulldogs' Rising Star Boyd

Boyd's career-best haul Tom Boyd plays his part in the demolition of the Lions with four goals
Tom Boyd reaped the rewards of his hard work against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night - ${keywords}
Tom Boyd reaped the rewards of his hard work against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night

TOM BOYD is refusing to be distracted by debate about his mega-contract and the approach seems to be working, with the Western Bulldogs power forward named the round 12 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

Boyd bagged 4.1 in a thumping 72-point win over the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night, which lifted the Dogs to ninth on the ladder.

The high-priced forward had some good fortune go his way for three of his goals, but he used that to build his confidence for a breakout game of 12 touches and six marks – four of which were contested.

"I suppose I've been feeling like I've been tracking in the right direction throughout the year, so to get a bit of reward on the scoreboard was definitely nice and to cap it off with a win is what we were after," Boyd told AFL.com.au.

The No.1 pick in the 2013 draft, Boyd was traded by Greater Western Sydney to the Whitten Oval last October in a stunning swap involving former Dogs skipper Ryan Griffen.

His seven-year deal at the Kennel has been estimated to be worth about $7 million, which brings the type of scrutiny precious few 19-year-olds have had to deal with.

"Day-to-day I don't think it's a real topic of my thought or my consciousness," Boyd said.

"I think sticking to the task of putting in the strong foundations of what will hopefully be a really strong AFL career in the future is really important.

"That's working on the little things day to day and things that I can put in place that will make me a consistent player."

Boyd said he maintains strong friendships at GWS, despite the fallout from his trade which saw the two clubs locked in a tense tug-of-war before the deal was done.

"I've got a lot of good friends that are still up there and I formed some terrific relationships last year and have great respect for the staff and the players up there and the club itself," he said.

"It was sad to leave them behind and I think the players each year are getting better at respecting the fact that it's just a reality of modern-day AFL and there's definitely no hard feelings."

Boyd played nine games for the Giants and booted eight goals, but as the No.1 tall target for the Dogs he's managed 15 goals from 11 games and provided a pinch-hitting option in the ruck.

While he played with a talent-packed side at GWS, the 200cm big man believes the Dogs' young pups rival the Giants' promise.

Since 2012, they have had eight Rising Star nominees – second only to the Sydney expansion club (14) – and the Dogs are in the running for what would be a shock finals berth.

"Obviously a big part of my decision when coming to the club was the exciting list we're building here," Boyd said.

"We've got some work to do and we acknowledge that, but the future is bright if we maintain our resolve and continue to build on the things that we've started to do well.

"We're not specifically focused on how many wins and losses we need to make the eight, but obviously each win is getting us a little bit closer and we'd love to play finals like every club."

• Check out all of 2015's nominees at the NAB AFL Rising Star hub
How does the Rising Star Award work and who is eligible?