HARD-NOSED West Coast midfielder Bella Lewis and lightning-fast Brisbane forward Courtney Hodder are the round eight NAB AFLW Rising Star nominees.
Lewis has been steadily building form in her debut AFLW season, culminating in 18 disposals, five tackles, three intercepts and a clearance against Richmond.
Drafted from Claremont with pick No.3 in last year's NAB AFLW Draft, Lewis previously competed in trampolining, representing her state at the national championships.
That background helped the diminutive midfielder develop a strong core, and she's a fearless ball-winner with good composure under pressure.
Having now played eight AFLW games, Lewis is averaging 13.1 disposals and 4.8 tackles this year.
A highly talented junior, Hodder missed out on her draft year of 2018 after badly breaking her leg in a Super W rugby union match, playing for Western Australia.
She needed three surgeries on the broken tibia and fibula and returned to playing rugby after moving to Queensland.
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Halfway through last year, she wanted to return to football and got in touch with Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich, and the Lions signed her as a rookie, as she hadn't been on a football list for three years.
Hodder's pace was extremely damaging up forward against North Melbourne, finishing with eight disposals, eight tackles, five score involvements, two clearances and an incredible major which should feature in goal of the year deliberations.
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
- Tyanna Smith (St Kilda), round four
- Becky Webster (Geelong), round four
- Mikayla Bowen (West Coast), round five
- Ellie McKenzie (Richmond), round five
- Daisy Bateman (North Melbourne), round six
- Tarni Brown (Collingwood), round six
- Lauren Bella (Gold Coast), round seven
- Eliza McNamara (Melbourne), round seven
- Courtney Hodder (Brisbane), round eight
- Bella Lewis (West Coast), round eight
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