Round 2 Rising Star Nominee: Michael Manteit
Sydney University recruit Michael Manteit is taking on the challenge of reinventing himself in the NEAFL competition.
The former Collingwood rookie made the move to Sydney from Melbourne this year, where he has also taken the opportunity to switch from defence to attack.
Manteit's move has so far paid off, with his three-goal performance against defending premier NT Thunder on Saturday earning the Round 2 NEAFL Rising Star nomination.
The 19-year-old contacted the Students in the off-season to explore new opportunities, and said it’s been the right move.
“I’d lived in Phillip Island for seven years and then Melbourne for another 4-5, and then I wanted a change, he said.
“I’ve always wanted to move to Sydney, and I thought this would be the year to do it.
“I’m really enjoying it. There is a fantastic bunch of people throughout the whole Sydney Uni Football Club. They’ve been very welcoming and have given me an opportunity to play a role I want to play.
“I’m learning a lot from the senior players Tom Young, ‘Stevo’ (Lewis Stevenson) and ‘Rawlo’ (Matt Rawlinson).
“There are some very good people to learn off and it’s just a great opportunity that I’ve been given.”
After playing junior football on Phillip Island, Manteit became the youngest player in the Melbourne High School Old Boys Football Club’s history to play senior footy when he debuted in 2012 at just 15.
Two years later he was named in the leadership group at TAC Cup Sandrigham Dragons, representing Vic Metro at the National Under-18 Championships before being snapped up by Collingwood.
When he was delisted by the Pies last year, Manteit trained with Richmond over the pre-season before making the move to Sydney.
He isn’t ready to give up on his AFL dream, and sees Sydney University as a great opportunity to get back into the system.
But there is one thing he wants to tick off first – to be a part of the Students' first NEAFL premiership.
“It was a really good learning experience I went through at Collingwood. It was a great opportunity, it was challenging, but I enjoyed it,” Manteit said.
“I definitely want to get drafted at the end of the year.
"It’s a big goal of mine to get back in the system, but I think winning a premiership comes first.
“If we win as a team, I’m sure my chances of getting drafted are escalated.”
The 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 at the start of the 2016 season.
Keep track of all the 2016 nominees and watch their individual highlights on our dedicated Rising Star page here.
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