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Lion, Demon named AFLW Rising Star nominees

Suns' coup, Lion king, toothless Dee Matt Thompson and Nat Edwards with the latest football news
Jasmine Grierson has been in sparkling form for the AFLW

MELBOURNE up-and-comer Jasmine Grierson and Brisbane Lions power forward Sabrina Frederick-Traub and are the round four nominees for the NAB AFL Women's Rising Star award.

Grierson has had a fair few days. On Saturday, she helped the Demons to an important win over Carlton. And on Monday, she started a university course (sports science at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne), receiving a phone message from the club in the middle of a "boring" lecture. When she returned the call, the 18-year-old found out she had been nominated for the award. 

"It's pretty surreal. Our manager Debbie Lee called, but I was at my first day of ‘uni’… I called her back and she broke it to me. She was very excited, I was very shocked," she said on Monday evening. 

Grierson has steadily increased her influence over the past few weeks, culminating in a 16-disposal, five-mark effort against Carlton on Saturday afternoon. 

The 18-year-old played only a few senior matches before this year (for Cranbourne in the VFL Women's competition), spending most of her time with the Whitehorse Colts in the Yarra Junior Football League in Melbourne's east.

Grierson has relished being moved down back, having initially played as a forward for the Demons. 

"I feel like I can make more of an impact (in defence) because I can use my run and pace off half-back and use my skills a bit more," Grierson said. 

She said Melbourne was well placed despite a slow start, when it lost at home to the Brisbane Lions. The Demons are now 3-1 and in third spot, a game behind Adelaide and the Lions. 

"The first week was pretty disappointing. We've just worked on what we can control and from there we've built momentum. If that leads us to the Grand Final, then that's a bonus," Grierson said.

Frederick-Traub, 20, was named a marquee player before the draft and is one of the emerging stars of the competition.

Sabrina Frederick-Traub in action for the Lions against the Giants. Picture: AFL Photos

The forward, who can also pinch-hit in the ruck, was born in England and immigrated to Perth with her family when she was seven. She started playing school football at 12, and played senior footy for South Fremantle in the WAWFL. 

Frederick-Traub starred in the Lions' 34-point win over Greater Western Sydney, finishing with 13 disposals, six marks and a goal. At 182cm, she uses her size to advantage over older, more experienced opponents. 

Both Grierson and Frederick-Traub are their clubs' second nominees for the Rising Star, following Lily Mithen (Melbourne) and Tayla Harris (Brisbane).

Other players to have been nominated are Bailey Hunt (Western Bulldogs), Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide), Erin McKinnon (Greater Western Sydney) and Ashley Sharp (Fremantle).