AFLW Rising Star, R3: Father-daughter gets nod, Lions do it again

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BRISBANE has its second NAB AFLW Rising Star nominee in two rounds, while the competition's first father-daughter signing has also been recognised in round three.

Lions defender Nat Grider and Blues midfielder Abbie McKay have been nominated after much-improved starts to the season.

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Grider, 20, captained Queensland in the 2018 NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships and was drafted with pick No.22 from the University of Queensland, the Lions' second pick that year.

Released into a more attacking role off half-back this year, Grider finished with 16 disposals, seven tackles and two marks against West Coast on Monday afternoon.

It was her 12th AFLW game overall, and her clean disposal and ability to read the play have held her in good stead this year.

Blues father-daughter and Lions mid named R3 Rising Stars

01:16 Feb 16. 2021. 5:00 PM

Carlton's Abbie McKay and Brisbane's Natalie Grider are the NAB AFLW Rising Stars for round three

McKay joined Carlton with pick No.16 in the 2018 Draft, via a bidding process to secure the midfielder as a father-daughter selection, with dad Andrew having played 244 games for the club between 1993 and 2003.

Coming into her third AFLW season, McKay had an outstanding pre-season, impressing with her dedication and hard work.

EYECATCHERS Who was your club's unheralded star in R3? 

Having failed to crack the best 21 last year after four matches in 2019, she has been a starting midfielder in all three games this year.

She was one of the Blues' best against St Kilda, recording 17 disposals and seven tackles in a tough performance.

Players are eligible for the NAB AFLW Rising Star if they are 21 years and under as of 1 January, 2021, and have not been previously nominated. 

Two players will be nominated per home-and-away round of the NAB AFLW season.

2021 NAB AFLW RISING STAR NOMINEES

  • Belle Dawes (Brisbane), round one
  • Tarni White (St Kilda), round one
  • Tyla Hanks (Melbourne), round two
  • Jess Fitzgerald (Western Bulldogs), round two
  • Nat Grider (Brisbane), round three
  • Abbie McKay (Carlton), round three

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