Palmer the young star
Rhys Palmer is the AFL Rising Star winner and there's more in the WAFL...
There might be lesson for other clubs in the success of the 2008 AFL Rising Star Rhys Palmer.
The midfielder came into the AFL this year with a season of senior football in the WAFL with East Fremantle behind him. Apart from that he took the classical modern pathway into the big time and was a star for WA at the 2007 AFL 18s Championships.
There's plenty of talent lurking in the WAFL this year too. Some are perhaps not as obvious as Palmer, who was picked up a seven in the national draft by Fremantle.
The big two, Daniel Rich (Subiaco) and Nick Naitanui (Swan Districts) are already household names. Footy fans who have never seen them play have opinions about them.
But there's more. Chris Yarran is a smooth small forward from the Swans who could develop into a midfielder. There’s something very appealing about his ball handling and kicking. Jeffery Garlett, Michael Walters and Neville Jetta are also talented Swan Districts players who will probably be drafted.
If you like goals it could be worth looking at small forwards Ian Richardson, a left footer from Claremont who booted 62 despite his team having a horror season, and Peel’s Hayden Ballantyne who kicked 75.
East Fremantle finished the season full of running and midfielder Liam Anthony caught the eye as someone who gets the ball a lot. Late in the season Anthony Kyanga provided plenty of excitement with his incredible pace that enabled him to make things happen.
At West Perth high hopes are held for Stephen Hill who is a smooth moving left footer while South Fremantle’s Reece Adams may have caught the eye of recruiters. He’s the brother of South premiership player Theo Adams who is now at East Fremantle. Reece is creative and quick and doesn’t have the awkward kicking style of his brother.
The WAFL finals start this weekend and may unearth some more likely types.
Cyril Rioli of Hawthorn was second in the Rising Star voting followed by Trent Cotchin (Richmond), Matthew Kreuzer (Carlton) and Garrick Ibbotson (Fremantle).