Lions' Rich wins Rising Star Award - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions' Rich wins Rising Star Award

02/09/2009 02:50:30 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane midfielder Daniel Rich has become the first unanimous winner of the AFL Rising Star Award since 2004.

Rich received the maximum 45 votes from the judges on Wednesday, finishing well clear of Adelaide's Andy Otten (30 votes) and Essendon's Tayte Pears (28).

Rich, 19, was selected by the Lions with pick seven in last year's national draft.

He received his Rising Star nomination in round one and has been the short-priced favourite to win the award for much of the season.

"He has played 22 games straight this season - which doesn't happen very often with first-year players - and has been tagged in a lot of those matches," said Lions coach Michael Voss.

"He's been enormously consistent and resilient.

"He has grown into his role and into the club and feels as though he belongs there.

"The way he's able to feed off the likes of Simon Black, Luke Power, Michael Rischitelli and Jared Brennan has been very good.

"The way he's applied himself, he's earned his spot.

"We haven't given him the spot, he's earned his right to be there and continues to do so.

"We've been very impressed with the way he's gone about it, but he's done that because he's worked hard."

Rich is the third Brisbane Bears/Lions player to claim the Rising Star Award, following Nathan Buckley (1993) and Chris Scott (1994).

Melbourne's Jared Rivers was the last unanimous winner of the award, back in 2004.

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