Round 5 Rising Star Nominee: Matt Wilson
The Sydney Swans have produced their second NEAFL Rising Star nominee this season after small forward Matt Wilson’s five-goal haul against Brisbane on Sunday.
Wilson jumped into third on the competition’s goalkicking leaderboard – level with teammate and Round 3 nominee Ned Reinhard – after his latest performance in a 110-point thrashing of the Lions.
A product of the Maroubra Saints juniors, Wilson made his NEAFL debut last season while representing NSW/ACT at the National Under-18 Championships.
The 18-year-old is another member of the newly-formed NEAFL Development squad at the Swans, designed to give Sydney Academy graduates an extra season within an AFL club environment to further enhance their development.
Wilson said the chance to play consistent matches as a top-up player, and training with the senior squad on occasion, has given him an extra confidence boost.
“I’m really enjoying it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.
“I remember playing a few games last year and you might have known one or two players. But this year everyone knows your name, you train with them and you know all the coaches and the game-plan.
“I think that reflects in the way we are playing aswell.”
Wilson has twice kicked five goals in a match so far this season as the Swans remain undefeated on top of the ladder.
The NEAFL Development Squad was formed this year in partnership with Sydney University to give the Swans priority access to their recent academy graduates.
Wilson is one of one of eight members of the squad who will play the majority of 2016 as a top-up player for Swans’ NEAFL side, otherwise playing for the Students when not required by Sydney.
Keen to take advantage of his new opportunity, Wilson has played every NEAFL match with Sydney so far, and wants to throw everything at his dream of making the elite level.
“The goal for me is to get on a rookie list with the swans or another club, and using all the facilities and training and help from all the coaches this year to achieve it,” he said.
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.
Don't forget to download our free NEAFL App, featuring live Champion Data stats, player bios and more! Available now from the Google Play and Apple stores.
Have your say! Follow the NEAFL on Twitter (@neaflofficial), Instagram (@neaflofficial) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/neaflofficial).