Number one draft pick Nicola Barr has been named one of the final NAB AFL Women's Rising Star nominees of the AFL Women’s season.
Barr collected 12 possessions playing off half-back in the GIANTS’ 32-point loss against the Western Bulldogs at UNSW Canberra Oval on Saturday night.
Despite the GIANTS falling short of posting their second win of the AFLW season, Barr led the resistance, displaying the consistency that has her seen her regularly feature in her side’s best players.
Coach Tim Schmidt said it was exciting to see the development of one of his most promising young players over the inaugural season.
“Nic’s move to the half back line over the last three games has been exactly what we as a team have been after,” he said.
“Her defensive side has improved out of sight while giving us plenty of offensive attack from her elite running ability and penetrating kicks on the run.
“She is still learning the game, but her willingness to ask questions and implement the advice given to her is helping her become one of the most dangerous half-backs in the competition.”
The first pick in the historic NAB AFL Women’s Draft, Barr was awarded the 2016 Mostyn Medal as the best and fairest player in the AFL Sydney Women’s Competition and represented New South Wales at the 2014 National Under-18 Championships.
At 20-years-old, Barr was drafted to the GIANTS from Sydney University in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division. She also played soccer at an elite level as a junior.
Barr said she was surprised to receive the accolade after an up-and-down season for the club as a whole.
“It’s really nice when your hard work pays off and I’m very lucky to be in a team that’s helped me develop over these last few weeks, I couldn’t have done it without the girls,” she said.
“There’s some really good experience in our team with the likes of Jess Dal Pos and Emma Swanson and the coaches have been fantastic.
“I think I’ve taken my time to work into the competition but it’s nice to be able to finish on a good note.”
Barr follows in the footsteps of ruck Erin McKinnon who was the club’s first NAB AFL Women’s Rising Star nominee in round three.