Great footy bloodlines in round four Rising Star nominee

ADELAIDE'S Danielle Ponter and Collingwood's Sarah Dargan are the round four NAB AFL Women's Rising Star nominees.

Ponter has played primarily in defence since making her debut in round two but played forward (her customary position as a junior) and kicked two goals against Fremantle in her hometown of Darwin.

The 19-year-old (pictured above, right) finished with eight disposals and a mark in the 42-point win.

"It means a lot (to play in the Northern Territory) … it's been a long journey," Ponter said post-match.

"It was just good because it's one thing to get an AFLW game, it's another thing to play at home in front of your friends and family and have that support around you when you do have those lucky moments, when you do kick goals."

Ponter, the niece of Essendon great Michael Long and cousin of former Hawthorn star Cyril Rioli, was selected with pick 48 from Northern Territory side St Mary's in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft.

She spent time at VFLW side Essendon in 2018 to develop her footy ahead of the draft.

Dargan was a shining light for Collingwood in its fourth-straight defeat, by nine points to Greater Western Sydney.

The 20-year-old played three games in 2018 as a small forward, but has done well with the increased responsibility of playing in the middle in 2019.

"I felt a lot more confident out on the field, I felt good, especially with the playing group we have this year, they're great people and really supportive," Dargan told womens.afl.

"I prefer playing in the midfield, that's what I like to play. I feel like I get into the game a lot more in the middle.

"With a lot of new girls coming in, we're building for the future. Being a second-year player, I'm a bit experienced in a way, so there has been a lot more opportunities and I've been able to play in the midfield and showcase what I can do."

She finished with a career-high 16 disposals (including 11 kicks) and six tackles in the round-four loss, as well as kicking a goal.

Dargan, who played for Vic Metro at under-18 representative level, was drafted from the Calder Cannons and Pascoe Vale Football Club in 2017, with pick 20.

She played VFLW for Collingwood last winter following the end of the AFLW season, but only managed the first three games before rupturing her Lisfranc ligament in her left foot.

The injury didn't require surgery, just a long period of rest and rehabilitation.

"My main focus was to get back for AFLW season, so if I was to do an injury, thank God I did it at the right time," Dargan said.

"I didn't need to rush it, it just healed itself. It was annoying at the time, but I look back on it and think it was best for me. I had a break, got to look at footy from a different angle from the coach's box and learn how the coaches see the game.

"I think that's really helped my development and come out fresh and more determined for AFLW."

Players are eligible for this year's award if they were 21 or under as of January 1, 2019, and had not been previously nominated.

2019 NAB AFLW Rising Star nominees

Round 1: Nina Morrison (Geelong) and Alyce Parker (Greater Western Sydney)

Round 2: Madison Prespakis (Carlton) and Sabreena Duffy (Fremantle)

Round 3: Courteney Munn (North Melbourne) and Eden Zanker (Melbourne)

Round 4: Danielle Ponter (Adelaide) and Sarah Dargan (Collingwood

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