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Demon Oliver delivers on pre-season promise to earn Rising Star nod

Giulio Di Giorgio  March 28, 2016 8:00 PM

AFL 2016 Rd 01 - Melbourne v GWS Giants

Demon Clayton Oliver is the round one NAB AFL Rising Star nominee after his effort against the Giants

• Who fired for your club in this weekend's state leagues?
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MELBOURNE'S Clayton Oliver has earned the round one NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for his eye-catching debut at the elite level in the Demons' win over the Giants.

The 18-year-old, who was selected with pick No.4 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, celebrated his first game by playing a vital role in a gripping two-point win over GWS at the MCG on Saturday. 

Oliver ended the game with 22 disposals (an equal game-high 15 contested), a match-high seven clearances and two tackles – all in just 58 per cent game time.

After starting the match on the interchange bench, the youngster was soon thrust straight into the centre square and won his first clearance by hacking the ball forward, much to the delight of the Demons' faithful.

Oliver demonstrated his appetite for the contest with an impressive 17 disposals to half-time, including 11 contested touches.

All the latest NAB AFL Rising Star news

After tiring slightly and being restricted to one possession in the third quarter, the 187cm ball-winner responded from the opening bounce of the last term.

Oliver helped kick-start the Demons – who trailed by 21 points at three-quarter time – by getting his hands on the ball at the first two centre clearances of the final term, which led to two Melbourne goals.

At the second centre bounce of the last quarter, the Murray Bushrangers product even shrugged a Dylan Shiel tackle like a seasoned veteran.

Oliver could not contain his excitement when he was interviewed post-match.

"'Macca' [Demons development coach Brendan McCartney] told me to see ball, get ball – just go hard at the ball and win it, and that's it," Oliver told Fox Footy. 

"I'm that happy."