Sam Blease NAB AFL Rising Star Nomination

Melbourne’s Sam Blease is the Round 23 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee. 

The talented midfielder starred for Melbourne against the Gold Coast Suns on Sunday at the MCG with 22 kicks and six marks.

Following a frustrating two year battle with injury from when he was drafted in 2008, Sam made his AFL debut this year in the Round 15 clash against Western Bulldogs. He has since played four senior games. 

Melbourne’s caretaker coach Todd Viney said Sam has a very exciting football career ahead with the Demons.

“I was wrapped with Blease’s game on the weekend. You can just hear the crowd get really excited when he starts to take off and you see him run and bounce and take the game on.

He's going to be a really good player for us," he said. 

Recruited from the Eastern Ranges, Melbourne selected Sam with selection 17 in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft. However he suffered a setback in his first year with the Demons when broke his leg, which ended his 2009 season. 

He sat out the first 16 rounds of 2010 but played the last six games for VFL affiliate Casey Scorpions, including a final.

Sam represented Vic Metro at the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. He is also a 2007 AIS/AFL Academy graduate. His junior football club is Norwood (EFL). 

Following each round of the home and away season, a panel of judges will select a NAB AFL Rising Star nominee. At the completion of the season, one of these nominees will be chosen as the 2011 NAB AFL Rising Star. 

The 2011 NAB AFL Rising Star will receive a personal investment folio and a dedicated personal banker, courtesy of NAB. 

NAB will recognise the junior clubs that helped foster the early careers of the nominated players. Each of the 24 clubs will receive a NAB Club Recognition Award, a package of practical and financial resources designed to assist them in developing future champions. 

The NAB AFL Rising Star is the pinnacle of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL. 

The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program provides recognition and a clearly identifiable direction for a player's career, and comprises the following elements: 

· NAB AFL Rising Star

· NAB AFL Draft

· NAB AFL Draft Combine

· NAB AFL Under 18 Championships

· AIS-AFL Academy

· NAB AFL Under 16 Championships




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