By NEAFL MEDIA
Canberra has produced its third Tribal Sport NEAFL Rising Star nominee of the 2018 season after Mitch Hardie’s match-winning performance on Saturday.
The 20-year-old forward polled the maximum 10 NEAFL MVP votes for his starring role against Gold Coast at UNSW Canberra Oval, collecting 30 disposals, six inside 50s and two goals in their 29-point victory.
Originally from Leeton-Whitton in the Riverina Football League, Hardie made his senior debut at just 15 years of age and won the club’s Best First Year Player Award in 2014.
He was recruited to the Demons last year and was named joint-winner of the Canberra’s Most Improved Award after playing every match in his debut season.
Hardie said he is feeling more confident heading in to his second season at the club.
“You have a lot more respect for a pre-season (coming in to the NEAFL),” he said. “My first pre-season was the shock of my life.
“I try and pick up things the most experienced player at the club do and try to do something similar as a way to help myself improve.
“I’m really enjoying it at the Demons (and) I’m trying to repay the faith that the club has put in me to give me an opportunity.”
The Tribal Sport NEAFL Rising Star is awarded to the most promising young talent in the NEAFL competition.
Nominees must be under the age of 21 and played less than 20 senior games (excluding games as AFL Academy players) at the start of the 2018 season.