Photo by AFLNT Media.


NT Thunder forward Adam Sambono has been awarded the Round 1 NEAFL Rising Star nomination after his best-on-ground effort against Aspley.

The slightly-built 19-year-old stole the show in the opening round at Darwin’s TIO Stadium, booting 6.4 and polling nine NEAFL MVP votes in a stunning debut appearance.

Originally from the Daly River region – located roughly 200km south of Darwin – Sambono relocated to the Territory’s capital city two years ago to pursue a football career.

He won the NTFL’s Rising Star Award in his debut Premier League season in 2015-16, and took it another step further this year when he was offered a place on NT Thunder’s 2017 playing list.

Sambono, who attracted headlines when he booted 10 goals during an NTFL match last season, said he hopes to keep improving throughout the season to enhance his AFL Draft chances.

“’Hodgey’ (coach Andrew Hodges) came up to me before the game and said ‘congratulations, I hope you do well and to make the most of it’,” Sambono said.

“He told me to just go out and do what you do best and take the game on.

“I wanted to come up to Darwin and try to make a name for myself. It’s good to represent NT Thunder (and) I am really proud of myself.

“I just want to try and get myself on an AFL list this year, and I hope to improve more with NT Thunder and train hard.”

Sambono is NT Thunder’s first Rising Star nominee since Michael Hagan in Round 14, 2015.

Past winners of the award include AFL draftees Andrew Boston (Gold Coast), Josh Smith (Collingwood), Paul Hunter (Adelaide) and Matt Uebergang (Fremantle).

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 2017 season.

Keep track of all of our 2017 nominees here.



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