A TEENAGE Hawk's day has finally arrived.
Rake-thin defender Will Day's been a model of consistency since breaking into Hawthorn's senior side in round six and it's resulted in him earning the round 16 NAB AFL Rising Star nomination.
In many ways his recognition is overdue, given he's averaging 15 disposals, two intercept marks and 11 pressure acts across nine games in his debut season.
After having a rest last week, Day returned to win a career-most 21 disposals and six rebound 50s against St Kilda on Sunday, with his silky skills again on display.
His signature moment came in just his fourth match, against Carlton, when he kicked the only goal of his career so far.
The Blues had piled on 31 points without conceding anything, but Day was lining up from beyond 50m.
Knowing he didn't have the distance, the West Adelaide product rounded the mark after a brief pause – benefiting from an Isaac Smith shepherd – then slotted a magnificent goal on the run from about 45m.
Day's finish proved the spark for the Hawks, who went on to win the game by 31 points in a remarkable turnaround. It remains the sole victory he's played in.
In a year when not much has gone right for Hawthorn, the classy 19-year-old's been an undoubted bright spot.
"It's nice not to just be recognised in the club, but also in the wider AFL community," Day told AFL.com.au.
"But, as cliché as it is, with where we sit on the ladder, I'd definitely rather some team success."
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Day models his game on Greater Western Sydney star Nick Haynes, but has also drawn flattering comparisons with players such as Jeremy Howe and Lachie Whitfield.
He hadn't played any state representative football until he made the South Australian under-18 team last season, and the Hawks eventually snapped him up with the No.13 draft pick.
Along with James Worpel and Jack Scrimshaw, Day is already viewed as a key piece in Hawthorn's future.
Day's junior club is PHOS Camden FC.