Otten named AFL rising star nominee - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Otten named AFL rising star nominee

26/05/2009 03:12:01 PM Comments (0)

Andy Otten is the latest product in a strong lineage of Adelaide midfielders who found their AFL feet in defence.

Captain Simon Goodwin, predecessor Mark Ricciuto, Tyson Edwards and Andrew McLeod are but a few of the Crows luminaries to start down back then bloom in the middle of the ground, and Otten's AFL rising star nomination for round nine is a sign of how fast the 20-year-old is learning his trade.

He gathered 23 disposals and kicked his first senior goal in Adelaide's 44-point win over Carlton at AAMI Stadium on Saturday, having played all nine matches this season as a vital link in the Crows' backline.

At 192cm, Otten has the size to cope with most defensive jobs, but his agility and composure suggest a shift to the centre in coming seasons may prove fruitful.

"I'd love to be in the midfield but at the moment my spot in the team is down back and I'm very happy with that," Otten said on Tuesday.

"In the future I'd love to become a genuine tall midfielder.

"I'm a bit unique in the way I play, but I love those tall midfielders, the ones who love to run and carry the ball and take them on."

It is a sound measure of how highly Otten is rated at West Lakes that he was chosen in pre-season to take the role previously held by the ultra-reliable Nathan Bassett, an All-Australian backman who retired at the end of 2008.

"I think it helps having a midfield background, coming down back, obviously used to winning the ball in the midfield, so down back you've got to be pretty cool and calm under pressure," Otten said of a role that requires him to create as well as block.

"It's a pretty vital part of the ground that you can't afford to turn the ball over in, so you've got to take a bit more care."

Otten's first game after his nomination will be against Hawthorn - the team he debuted against last year.

"It was a close game on a Saturday night, definitely a tough game, we just lost so we'll be looking to redeem that this year and we're looking to play some fast footy to get through their zone," Otten said.

"A lot of tactics are coming in to play this year so teams have got to be on the ball every week."

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