Canberra’s own GIANTS Academy graduate Tom Green has been named the round four nominee for the NAB AFL Rising Star Award.
“It feels really good, I was just glad to be part of a really good team win and contribute to that, so I’m super excited,” Green said on Monday after coach Leon Cameron told him the news.
Green turned in a stellar performance in just his second game against Collingwood on Friday night, picking up 18 disposals, 12 contested possessions, seven clearances, six score involvements and his first AFL goal.
Green said he felt much more comfortable at the top level in Friday-night’s game after making his debut in round one, and was lauded around the AFL world for his composure under pressure.
“I think my first game I was a little bit all over the place with nerves on my debut but certainly on Friday night I felt a lot more comfortable,” Green said.
“As the game went on, I really felt like I started to find my feet and hopefully I can keep playing AFL and keep being more comfortable and being able to contribute to the team all year.”
Last year’s number 10 draft pick lived all around the country as a kid, the son of army officer and pilot Richard.
With his three younger brothers and mum Mel, the Green family settled in the nation’s capital just before Tom started high school, where he joined the GIANTS Academy not long after.
The grandson of four-time Richmond Premiership player Michael Green, Tom spoke of the influence the Academy - where two of his three younger brothers also play football - had on his development.
“I owe a lot of my development (to them) and I’m really grateful for the opportunity the GIANTS Academy’s given me to develop myself and my football,” Green said.
"It feels good to be able to come to the club and get involved and to start contributing to some wins. Hopefully I’ll continue to build from here.”
18 disposals, 7 clearances and a goal...— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) June 27, 2020
Introducing this week's Rising Star*, Tom Green.
*yeah, we're calling it early.#NeverSurrender
The Marist College product - where fellow GIANT Phil Davis also started his football career - acknowledged GIANTS leader Matt de Boer as someone who helped him transition into AFL life.
“Since I was a kid I’ve wanted to play footy so to be able to live my dream, it’s not a bad job to be able to kick a football full-time,” Green said.
"I’m obviously loving all aspects of it and everyone at the club has been really welcoming and helped me develop.
"Matt de Boer is one in particular who really looks after some of the younger guys and particularly me as a midfielder.
“He’s probably one that’s really helped me a lot but having said that, there’s a lot of guys at the club that have really contributed to my development and helped me so far.”
With two games and a Rising Star nomination under his belt, the ultra-professional teenage is just focused on backing up his performance with selection for another big game at GIANTS Stadium on Sunday, when the GIANTS host the Hawks.
“A couple of weeks back we hadn’t put our best foot forward in terms of the football we want to play as a team, and we got back toward that a little bit,” Green said.
“That’s just a building block for this Sunday again, irrespective of the result we’re just going to try and play that brand of GIANTS football again.
“We’d just like to consolidate on the steps we made on Friday night against the Hawks.”