DePasquale among rising star favourites
Twenty-five goals and a pair of 20 possession games has Kyabram’s teenage goalkicking mid-fielder, Anthony DePasquale, among the favourites in this year’s Goulburn Valley Football League’s Rising Star Award.
DePasquale would be following in some rather significant footsteps if he was able to win the award, which will have 13 nominees by season’s end.
The award was previously known as the GVL Rookie of the Year, when it was won by former Bomber stars Andrew Trimby (1993), Chris Atkins (1997) and Matt Delidio (2008).
Brother of current Bombers coach, Dave Newman, even has his name on the trophy. He won the award in 2000.
The award has a prestigious history, won by prolific ball winner Tom Rockliff, in 2007.
Rockcliff’s season was rewarded with his selection at number five in the AFL 2009 pre-season draft. He played 154 games for the Lions, captaining them for two years and winning two best and fairests, before finishing with 54 games at Port Adelaide.
Last year it was won by Rochester’s Adam McPhee.
Brad Whitford from Kyabram won the Rising Star award in 2017, while Euroa goalsneak Jett Trotter was the 2015 winner.
Seymour’s Jason Cole, a former Victoria Country captain, was the last Rookie of the Year in 2009 before the award became the Rising Star Award in 2010.
The award will be presented at the Morrison Medal league best and fairest count on September 19.
GVL operations manager Josephine Spencer said nominations had only started in round seven, due to a decision by the league not to put too much pressure on clubs for nominations.
This season there has only been nine nominations, the league deciding to allow clubs the first half of the season to “get back on their feet’’.
The nominations this season are: Mitchell Cricelli (Rochester); Diesel Batey (Swans); Anthony DePasquale (Kyabram); Xavier Hutchison (Tatura); Brady Simpson (Echuca); Mitchell Trevaskis (United); Jed Warrin (Shepparton); Ben Bath (Euroa); and, Jed Woods (Mooroopna).
DePasquale has played all but one match with the Bombers this season, having debuted last year during his seven-game season with Bendigo Pioneers.
DePasquale’s biggest influence on a match came in round 12, against Tatura. He had 20 possessions, four inside-50 entries and had seven scoring shots (four goals).
He matched the disposal count against Seymour in round six, sent the ball inside-50 on seven occasions and took three inside-50 marks for a three-goal return.
The former St Augustine’s star has some healthy competition from Rochester key forward Mitch Cricelli, who has kicked 35 goals in his debut GVL season and averages three forward 50 marks a week.
Swans star Batey averages 19 disposals and almost four tackles a game, having topped the 20 disposal count on six occasions this season from his 14 games.
Strong marking United defender Mitchell Trevaskis is another rising star to have played every game this season, his highlight a 25 disposal-8 mark and nine rebound 50 game against United midway through the season.
Trevaskis is the seventh-ranked player in the competition for rebounding 50 acts and is averaging 15 disposals a game.
Shepparton tackling machine Jed Warrin will also feature prominently. He is not only averaging 18 touches a week, but is the GVL’s 10th best tackler (more than six a week).
Against Mansfield in round 14 Warren had 22 disposals and laid an amazing 12 tackles, to go with his five inside-50 entries.
Euroa’s Ben Bath kicked three goals (he has 12 for the season) after pulling in five forward 50 marks against Tatura in round 11.
As Andrew Smith’s understudy he had 11 hit outs and four inside-50 entries to go with his 19 possessions (a season high for the Magpies first year star).
Mooroopna’s Jed Woods has had a handful of big matches this season, none bigger than his 26 disposal-6 tackle effort against Shepparton. He did, however, lay 13 tackles to go with four clearances and 16 possessions against the Swans in round 10.