17/04/2024

Young Swans forward Cynthia Hamilton could be one of a few that earns a rising star nomination in the next few weeks. (Photo: Sydney Swans AFLW/Twitter)

There have been several young stars so far this year who’ve put their name up for an AFLW Rising Star nomination.

Whilst the likes of Montana Ham, Jasmine Fleming, Hannah Ewings, and Keeley Skepper have been nominated already, there are still those who’ve had promising seasons waiting in the wings.

The Inner Sanctum has selected five that could potentially get nominated in the second half of season seven.

Stephanie Wales – Essendon

There’ve been several young rucks that have made an immediate impact in their side, but none more so than Steph Wales.

Coming across from the Casey Demons in the VFLW, she’s averaging 9.6 disposals, 11.6 hitouts, 1.4 tackles, two clearances and 5.4 contested possessions per game. She’s also kicked three goals, which all came in a half against West Coast.

Her last two weeks have seen some of her better performances against two of Essendon’s bitter rivals in Collingwood and Richmond. In those two games she’s had a combined 28 disposals, 18 contested possessions, four tackles and 23 hit-outs.

Whilst she’d consider herself unlucky to not be nominated for the Rising Star if she continues on this path not only could she be nominated, but she could also be a chance for the award itself.

Cynthia Hamilton – Sydney

She came into this season with plenty of hype around her, and so far Sydney’s third pick Cynthia Hamilton has lived up to it.

Providing a spark for Scott Gowans up forward and being easy to identify with her red and white helmet, Hamilton so far averages 12.3 disposals, 5.5 contested possessions, four clearances and 3.3 tackles per game.

Last week though saw Hamilton play her best game against fellow expansion side Hawthorn. Playing more midfield minutes, she finished the game with game-highs in disposals (19), kicks (14), clearances (six), and had five tackles.

The 18-year-old has played a key role as one of several young Swans players in the new side.

If she can continue to perform at the level she did last Friday, it’ll go a long way to her not only helping Sydney get its first win, but also getting herself a Rising Star nomination

Zali Friswell – Geelong

The Cats have improved in leaps and bounds in season seven, and young midfielder Zali Friswell has been a factor behind this improvement.

After a reasonable first season in the hoops, Friswell has flown under the radar due to the performances of Amy McDonald and Georgie Prespakis around her, but has still made a massive impact on a wing.

So far this season she averages 12 disposals, 2.4 marks, 153 metres gained and 1.6 tackles, with her only single digit disposal game coming in Round 4 against the Kangaroos.

With Prespakis set for a two-week stint on the sidelines, Friswell’s role could become slightly larger, which could pave the way to a Rising Star nomination.

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Ella Roberts – West Coast

One of many of the younger Eagles to have made an impact in her first season, Ella Roberts has proven to be a shrewd acquisition.

Being selected with the first pick by the Eagles and being highly touted as a forward prospect, her ability inside forward 50 has been on show. So far she’s averaged 11.6 disposals, 2.6 marks, 3.4 tackles and 2.8 inside 50s.

It was against expansion side Essendon that her full repertoire was on show at home. Despite a rough loss Roberts was a shining light on the day, collecting 17 disposals, four marks, five clearances and six hit-outs.

With several big games coming up against four sides in the top eight, she’ll play a key role for the Eagles and will look to earn herself a Rising Star nomination.

Charlotte Baskaran – Hawthorn

Also coming into the season with plenty of hype after a magnificent 2022 NAB League Girls season, Baskaran has slowly found the form that got her selected in the top 10 of this year’s draft.

So far the ex-Western Jets and NAB League team of the year captain has played all five games, averaging 11 disposals, 3.6 tackles, 5.4 contested possessions, 1.6 clearances and 1.2 inside 50s.

Her last three weeks have seen her show her potential as a midfielder, with her fourth game against the Bulldogs the best of the lot where she had 14 disposals, five tackles and three clearances.

If she can continue to perform the way that she has the last three weeks, it’ll go a long way to her to becoming the second Hawk to gain a Rising Star nomination.

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