• Congratulations to Samo Petrevski-Seton, the Round 7 AFL Rising Star nominee (AFL/Carton FC via Twitter) (AFL/Carlton FC via Twitter)
Almost half of the players nominated for the AFL’s rising star award this season are Indigenous Australians, continuing the strong tradition of Aboriginal footballers making an instant impact on the game’s biggest stage.
By
Will Davies

11 May 2017 - 11:19 AM  UPDATED 11 May 2017 - 11:19 AM

As has become the norm in the Australian Football League, Aboriginal players have again been thrilling crowds with some outstanding performances.

Buddy Franklin’s eight goals on the weekend puts him into the top five of the Coleman Medal, which has been led by another Indigenous player in Eddie Betts.

Adelaide’s Betts has wowed footy fans around the country in the early stages of 2017 and is currently second in the league’s goal kicking tally.

But it’s the new generation of Indigenous footballers who are on their way to stealing the limelight.

After seven rounds of the AFL season, three of the nominees for the league’s Rising Star award are Aboriginal Australians.

Carlton’s Sam Petrevski-Seton is the latest of those, with the No.6 draft pick receiving the nomination after his impressive performance in the Blues’ 23-point win over Collingwood.

The 19-year-old had 21 disposals, 10 of those contested, two goals, four marks, three clearances and three tackles.

Petrevski-Seton joins Sam Powell-Pepper (round one) and Brandan Parfitt (round three) to have received a nomination for the league’s Rising Star.

It continues a strong tradition of Aboriginal players making an instant impact on football’s biggest stage.

And with so much of 2017 still to play, one of these three, or even a number of other yet-to-be-nominated players, could be joining the likes of Byron Pickett (1998), Adam Goodes (1999) and Danyle Pearce (2006) in being recognised as the AFL’s best young talent.

From Halls Creek in Western Australia, Petrevski-Seton was honoured to receive the acknowledgement for his hard work and success, but felt it was still just the beginning.

“I’m still finding my feet at the AFL level and how to play the game,” he said.

“Just being a bit more composed and starting to play the footy that I want to play in the team.”

The 180cm-tall and 74kg midfielder-forward was drafted from WAFL club Claremont and said there are obvious adjustments to be made in order to succeed at the highest level.

“I think it’s always, probably for every first year (player) you’re a bit under sized. Leading into round one, I kind of just knew I’d done a load of work off-field and in the gym and doing some other intensity work.

“Adapting to bigger bodies is difficult at times (being) obviously undersized, but I think you’re out there to play footy and you just focus on your own game and performing well.”

Petrevski-Seton is no stranger to taking on big challenges, having first played senior football as a 13-year-old for the Halls Creek Hawks in the East Kimberley Football League.

He then made the near-3000km journey to live in Perth for four years, to go to school and better develop his football.

Petrevski-Seton said it is a different challenge adjusting to life in Melbourne, but these are the type of tasks he wants to take on and master.

“I had to adjust to Perth for four years, moving away from home there,” he said.

“I spent four years in Perth and it was a challenge for me to move away from Halls Creek and I spent four years in Perth. Spent four years there and kind of needed a new challenge in life and Melbourne was the place that I wanted to face that challenge.

“The game itself against Collingwood, there’s the arch rivalry between the clubs, but I think that’s one of the reasons I moved here to play in Melbourne where it’s the home of footy.

“I’m really fortunate enough to be on board with the Blues and to play against other Melbourne teams.”

So who is next to be nominated and who is the best young talent in the game?

For more AFL news, tune in to The Marngrook Footy Show, live on NITV on Thursdays from 7.30pm on Ch.34, or via the SBS and NITV on-demand service.