Main content

How the Rising Star contenders shape up

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 6: Jesse Hogan of the Demons in action during the 2015 AFL round 23 match between the Melbourne Demons and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia on September 6, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Demons forward Jesse Hogan is a big chance to take out the 2015 NAB AFL Rising Star

Here's a quick look at all 23 players nominated for this year's NAB AFL Rising Star award ahead of the announcement on Wednesday.  

Round 1
Kamdyn McIntosh (Richmond)
DOB: 3/4/1994
Height: 192cm
Weight: 91kg
Junior clubs: Pinjarra (WA)/Peel Thunder (WAFL)
2015 games: 22
Goals: 7
Kicks: 232
Marks: 90
Handballs: 106 

McIntosh had tongues wagging in his debut when he burnt off Chris Judd and kicked a brilliant goal against Carlton. The Tiger played every game this season and established himself in a side that knocked off most of the top teams.

Round 2
Mitch Honeychurch (Western Bulldogs)
DOB: 2/3/1995
Height: 176cm
Weight: 71kg
Junior clubs: Vermont (Vic)/Eastern U18
2015 games: 10
Goals: 9
Kicks: 62
Marks: 25
Handballs: 59 

Tenacious and tough, the on-baller makes his presence known in the contest. His competitiveness has seen him doing his best work where there's a scrap to be had. Honeychurch's tackling in the forward 50 means he has defenders worried whenever he's around.

Round 3
Isaac Heeney (Sydney Swans)
DOB: 5/5/1996
Height: 184cm
Weight: 80kg
Junior club: Cardiff (NSW)
2015 games: 12
Goals: 15
Kicks: 101
Marks: 56
Handballs: 50 

Heeney's toughness has earned him immediate respect from teammates and opponents. He was a midfielder at junior level, but has been a pressure forward for the Swans this year. Was an early favourite for the Rising Star, but a knee injury proved costly.

Round 4
Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
DOB: 18/3/1995
Height: 193cm
Weight: 90kg
Junior clubs: Northampton (WA)/East Fremantle (WAFL)
2015 games: 20
Goals: 6
Kicks: 158
Marks: 64
Handballs: 313 

The big midfielder drew comparisons with Nat Fyfe with his size and ability to win the ball in the contest. Cripps was the shining light for Carlton this season and looms as the centrepiece of the Blues midfield for the next decade.

Patrick Cripps has been a shining light for the Blues in 2015. Picture: AFL Media

Round 5
Adam Saad (Gold Coast)
DOB: 23/7/1994
Height: 178cm
Weight: 74kg
Junior clubs: West Coburg (Vic)/Calder U18/Coburg (VFL)
2015 games: 16
Goals: 1
Kicks: 121
Marks: 66
Handballs: 151 

Injuries opened up a spot for Saad, but he quickly made a name for himself. His pace off half-back and left boot gathered plenty of attention, but his willingness to run with the flight of the ball set the standard at Gold Coast.

Round 6
Cory Gregson (Geelong)
DOB: 4/9/1996
Height: 175cm
Weight: 73kg
Junior clubs: Plympton (SA)/Sacred Heart College (SA)/Glenelg (SANFL)
2015 games: 20
Goals: 13
Kicks: 133
Marks: 66
Handballs: 114 

Gregson's line-breaking ability has stamped him as one of Geelong's most exciting young players. An accomplished gymnast in his younger days, Gregson combines outstanding athletic ability with accurate kicking to be a danger around goals.

Cripps or Hogan: Who will win this year's NAB AFL Rising Star?

Round 7
Billy Hartung (Hawthorn)
DOB: 24/1/1995
Height: 177cm
Weight: 76kg
Junior clubs: Mornington (Vic)/Dandenong U18
2015 games: 18
Goals: 11
Kicks: 165
Marks: 59
Handballs: 138 

Any young player able to consistently play for a dominant Hawthorn team deserves plaudits. One of the fittest players at the Hawks, Hartung found a niche on the wing with his hard running.

Round 8
Cam McCarthy (Greater Western Sydney)
DOB: 1/4/1995
Height: 192cm
Weight: 89kg
Junior clubs: South Coogee (WA)/South Fremantle (WAFL)
2015 games: 20
Goals: 35
Kicks: 132
Marks: 73 

The Giants lost Tom Boyd last year, but it opened up an opportunity for McCarthy and he grabbed it with both hands. His outstanding marking is the feature of his game, and his partnership with Jeremy Cameron will keep opposition coaches sleepless for years to come.

Cam McCarthy has been a surprise forward-line star for the Giants. Picture: AFL Media

Round 9
Jesse Hogan (Melbourne)
DOB: 12/2/1995
Height: 195cm
Weight: 101kg
Junior clubs: Marist (WA)/Claremont (WAFL)
2015 games: 20
Goals: 44
Kicks: 178
Marks: 134
Handballs: 83 

Optimism isn't a common trait among Melbourne fans these days, but Hogan has given the Dees' faithful hope. His strength and bodywork in marking contests had him consistently beating far more experienced defenders.

Round 10
Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne)
DOB: 9/1/1996
Height: 187cm
Weight: 88kg
Junior clubs: Hampton (Vic)/Sandringham U18
2015 games: 21
Goals: 5
Kicks: 170
Marks: 54
Handballs: 97 

Brayshaw's hard tackling and ball-winning abilities mean he loves a contest. Not just an inside player though – he can kick on both sides of his body when in the open. Looms as a future Melbourne captain.

Round 11
Tim Broomhead (Collingwood)
DOB: 22/3/1994
Height: 184cm
Weight: 82kg
Junior clubs: Port District (SA)/Port Adelaide (SANFL)
2015 games: 11
Goals: 7
Kicks: 81
Marks: 16
Handballs: 79 

Broomhead's first season was ruined by glandular fever, but he has made significant strides since then. A classy midfielder, he can win his own ball while his composure ensures he often makes the correct decision with his disposal.

Round 12
Tom Boyd (Western Bulldogs)
DOB: 22/8/1995
Height: 200cm
Weight: 103kg
Junior clubs: Norwood (Vic)/Eastern U18/GWS Giants
2015 games: 14
Goals: 16
Kicks: 74
Marks: 47
Handballs: 41 

A big contract has ensured high expectations have been set for the young key forward. While he still has plenty of development left, Boyd's size, marking and goalkicking ability mean he looks set to be a mainstay in the Dogs' forward line for years to come.

Round 13
Charlie Cameron (Adelaide)
DOB: 5/7/1994
Height: 184cm
Weight: 75kg
Junior clubs: Newman Saints (WA)/Swan Districts (WAFL)
2015 games: 20
Goals: 27
Kicks: 138
Marks: 57
Handballs: 70 

Drafted as a rookie, Cameron showed he was well suited to the AFL from his first game. His speed and tackling in the forward 50 brought another dimension to Adelaide's forward line this year, while his goalkicking makes him a constant threat.

Round 14
Jack Lonie (St Kilda)
DOB: 13/8/1996
Height: 174cm
Weight: 70kg
Junior clubs: Seaford (Vic)/Dandenong U18
2015 games: 17
Goals: 12
Kicks: 123
Marks: 43
Handballs: 75 

Playing in a St Kilda team that places a lot of value on pressuring the opposition suits Lonie perfectly. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in vigour, with opponents needing to be constantly aware of his presence. Kicks goals as well.

Round 15
Dom Sheed (West Coast)
DOB: 10/4/1995
Height: 185cm
Weight: 89kg
Junior clubs: Mines Rovers (WA)/Subiaco (WAFL)
2015 games: 20
Goals: 9
Kicks: 199
Marks: 64
Handballs: 201 

Despite his tender years, Sheed cemented a spot in a top-four team. His all-round game means he has few weaknesses. Can win his own ball and is also an excellent decision-maker. 

Round 16
Touk Miller (Gold Coast)
DOB: 22/2/1996
Height: 178cm
Weight: 81kg
Junior clubs: Maribyrnong Park (Vic)/Calder U18
2015 games: 22
Goals: 7
Kicks: 184
Marks: 51
Handballs: 190 

With injuries hitting the Gold Coast midfield hard this season, Miller stepped up to be an important player. His fearless attack on the ball and ferocious tackling meant he became an important part of the Suns' midfield.

Opportunity knocked for Touk Miller and he grabbed it with both hands. Picture: AFL Media

Round 17
Jake Lever (Adelaide)
DOB: 5/3/1996
Height: 194cm
Weight: 85kg
Junior clubs: Romsey (Vic)/Calder U18
2015 games: 12
Goals: 0
Kicks: 108
Marks: 60
Handballs: 56 

The defender made his mark at Adelaide with his competitiveness in defence despite missing all of his last under-18 season with an ACL injury. His leadership is highly rated and he could one day captain the Crows.

Round 18
Harris Andrews (Brisbane Lions)
DOB: 11/12/1996
Height: 200cm
Weight: 92kg
Junior club: Aspley (Qld)
2015 games: 19
Goals: 4
Kicks: 118
Marks: 100
Handballs: 103 

While key-position players usually take longer to develop, Andrews made an instant impact with his ability to read the ball in the air and take intercept marks. His versatility means he can also play forward or in the ruck.

Round 19
Jackson Thurlow (Geelong)
DOB: 28/3/1994
Height: 190cm
Weight: 82kg
Junior clubs: Launceston (Tas)
2015 games: 19
Goals: 2
Kicks: 189
Marks: 84
Handballs: 140 

Thurlow was rewarded with a three-year contract extension after establishing himself in defence. His playmaking ability and intercept marking has seen him compared with Geelong great Corey Enright.

Round 20
Jordan De Goey (Collingwood)
DOB: 15/3/1996
Height: 187cm
Weight: 83kg
Junior clubs: Ashburton (Vic)/St Kevin's College (Vic)/Oakleigh U18
2015 games: 16
Goals: 6
Kicks: 125
Marks: 31
Handballs: 97 

De Goey's tackling and competitiveness at the contest saw him become an important part of Collingwood's team. His versatility means he can play forward or in the midfield.

Jordan De Goey has added some grunt to the Magpies' remodelled midfield. Picture: AFL Media

Round 21
Darcy Lang (Geelong)
DOB: 21/11/1995
Height: 183cm
Weight: 79kg
Junior club: Colac (Vic)/Geelong U18
2015 games: 20
Goals: 14
Kicks: 151
Marks: 63
Handballs: 120 

Lang established himself in Geelong's team this year. Can play as an inside midfielder but his speed means he can break away from the contest as well. Spent a lot of time up forward this year and can dispose of the ball using both sides.

Round 22
Ben Lennon (Richmond)
DOB: 5/7/1995
Height: 188cm
Weight: 84kg
Junior club: Macleod (Vic)/Northern U18
2015 games: 9
Goals: 6
Kicks: 151
Marks: 44
Handballs: 28 

Lennon's marking and a beautiful right boot have held him in good stead this year. His size and ability to win the ball in the contest means he will eventually become a strong inside midfielder who can push forward.

Round 23
Orazio Fantasia (Essendon)
DOB: 14/9/1995
Height: 177cm
Weight: 72kg
Junior clubs: Paynham Norwood Union (SA)/Norwood (SANFL)
2015 games: 5
Goals: 2
Kicks: 41
Marks: 16
Handballs: 40 

Lightly framed, but his agility makes Fantasia dangerous, especially in the forward line. Can find the ball in the midfield as well. His speed will be increasingly important in an Essendon side that sometimes lacks pace.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs