Round 13 Rising Star Nominee: Dyson Budarick
Southport midfielder Dyson Budarick has returned from a long injury layoff to earn his second NEAFL Rising Star nomination in as many seasons.
The talented youngster spent six weeks on the sidelines this year with osteitis pubis, but worked himself back into the Sharks line-up where he collected 17 disposals and two goals in their 60-point win over Redland on Saturday.
Budarick was the final nominee of the Rising Star award in his debut NEAFL season last year, on top of earning a QAFL Rising Star nod as a 16-year-old in 2014.
At just 18, the Labrador junior is a three-time Rising Star nominee – but it’s a tag he wants to shake.
Budarick is eager to take his game to a new level, after a 2015 season which saw him involved in the Queensland Under-18s and Gold Coast Academy programs, plus senior football across Labrador in QAFL and Gold Coast and Southport in the NEAFL.
“It’s been good this year to listen to one coach and have one game-plan to follow, and also develop better relationships with blokes in a club environment rather than jumping from club-to-club last year,” he said.
“This season has definitely been harder than I expected because of my injury. I would have liked to play a few more games, but the good thing is there are still plenty of rounds to go.
“It’s an ongoing process for me, but I think the next step is consistency, staying injury-free, and to step away from just playing a role to being more of an influence in our wins. I just want to keep developing.”
Budarick has sensed a shift in the Sharks’ playing group the past few weeks as they reached a season-high fifth place on the ladder last Saturday.
The in-and-under midfielder hopes to solidify his place in the side as they approach the business end of the season.
“The change in the club over the last three or four weeks - it probably goes to show with our wins aswell – we are developing more of a team environment and everyone is enjoying it a lot more and we are reaping the rewards,” he said.
“It will be good to see what happens in the last few weeks, and hopefully keep building and stay on track.”
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 (excluding games as AFL top-up players) 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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