Kreuzer earns Rising Star nomination - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kreuzer earns Rising Star nomination

10/06/2008 07:45:22 PM Comments (0)

After a tough initiation in the AFL, a match-winning effort has done wonders for young Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer and earned him a Rising Star nomination.

Kreuzer was sent into attack in the final term against Port Adelaide on Sunday and kicked three goals as the Blues stormed back from 30 points down at the final change to beat the Power by two goals at AAMI Stadium.

The athletic 19-year-old admitted he had initially struggled with the speed of the game and taking contested marks.

But he said his confidence levels spiked when he took a strong pack mark in the goal square against Port's defence in the intense final term.

"I've been trying all year to take some grabs and it finally stuck on Sunday, I was pretty happy with that," he said.

"I'm just enjoying every moment at the minute and loving it."

But he played down his impact in the final quarter and said he was just finishing off the work of the Blues midfield.

Coach Brett Ratten was happy to sing his praises, however, with Kreuzer playing the past nine games for Carlton after being sidelined with a hip injury at the start of the season.

"Matthew has continued to impress during his debut season," Ratten said.

"His ability to play in numerous positions has been of enormous benefit to the team.

"For a player to have had such an impact on a game so early in his footy career is a rarity.

"He is a level-headed kid, mature beyond his years, and a real pleasure to coach."

Kreuzer said he was trying to put aside the pressure and expectations on him as the No.1 pick in last year's national draft, but admitted he was happy Blues captain Chris Judd was taking much of the spotlight.

While he would continue to put his hand up for selection, he acknowledged he might need a breather some time during the season.

"It's tough getting up each week, with all the training during the week, but I just loving running out there every weekend and hope I can continue to."

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