CARLTON'S Grace Egan and last year's No.1 pick Gabby Newton from the Western Bulldogs have been named as the NAB AFL Women's Rising Star nominees after stellar performances in round four.
Egan had been on the cusp of a nomination for a few weeks, but her 18 disposals and four tackles in the Grand Final rematch were crucial in the eight-point win over Adelaide.
The Blues took an AFLW record of 100 marks as a team in an effort to halt the Crows from possessing the football, and Egan contributed with six grabs of her own.
Egan missed out on being drafted as an 18-year-old, but made the switch from Shepparton to Richmond's VFLW side.
"It was a bit unfortunate not to get picked up," Egan told womens.afl.
The move to the VFLW was beneficial for the 19-year-old, but there were plenty of learning curves along the way.
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"I had to grow up pretty fast," Egan said.
After receiving the good news at training on Monday night, Egan says it feels like her "hard work has paid off".
Egan follows Lucy McEvoy as the second Blue to be nominated for the award this year.
Newton's fourth game was her best yet at AFLW level, but the Bulldogs fell just short by four points against West Coast.
She racked up 16 disposals and 10 tackles in an outstanding effort.
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The 18-year-old has had 11 or more disposals in each of her first four games this season.
Despite her strong effort, Newton was caught off-guard by the nomination and actually thought Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke was ready to swing the axe at the selection table.
"I thought he was calling me for bad news, because I know when you get a call from 'Burkey' it normally means changes are being made to the team," Newton said.
"I was a bit scared because I had two missed calls from him, but then I called him back and he said it's not bad news, it's good news.
"It's huge to be nominated, I'm certainly very honoured," Newton said.
NAB AFLW RISING STAR NOMINATIONS IN 2020:
- Lucy McEvoy (Carlton)
- Georgia Patrikios (St Kilda)
- Roxy Roux (Fremantle)
- Jesse Wardlaw (Brisbane)
- Caitlin Greiser (St Kilda)
- Kalinda Howarth (Gold Coast)
- Grace Egan (Carlton)
- Gabby Newton (Western Bulldogs)