Matt Rowell’s exceptional second game of AFL football has been rewarded with a Round 2 NAB AFL Rising Star nomination.

Last year’s number one pick Rowell, made his much-anticipated debut for the club in Round 1 before having to wait three months before being able to play his second AFL game. 

The wait was definitely worth it, with the young midfielder almost unstoppable on Saturday night, accumulating 26 disposals, 14 contested possessions, seven tackles and kicked two goals. 

His strength around contests and ball-winning ability was a feature of his game which saw the 18-year-old also poll 10 AFL Coaches Association votes, becoming the fourth youngest player ever to score the perfect ten.

00:54 Mins
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Round 2 Rising Star: Matt Rowell

Matt Rowell is the Round 2 Rising Star.

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Rowell commenced his junior footy with the Canterbury Cobras, before progressing through the NAB League program with the Oakleigh Chargers whilst also playing APS school football with Carey Grammar. 

SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew said Rowell’s monster performance wasn’t a shock to him or the coaches after witnessing what he could do since his first training session with the club.

“He just loves footy. He’ll eat up anything that you give him in terms of footy. He just wants to impact the game for the team,” Dew said post-match.

“We all love that he’s so humble. The work he puts in is pretty special.”

A NAB AFL Rising Star nominee will be named following each round of football in the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership season. 

Following each round of the Home and Away season, a panel of judges select a NAB AFL Rising Star nominee. At the completion of the season, one of these nominees will be chosen as the 2020 NAB AFL Rising Star. 
The 2020 NAB AFL Rising Star winner will be awarded the Ron Evans Medal, along with $20,000 from NAB and with a dedicated private banker.
NAB continues to support footballers by recognising the junior clubs that helped foster the early careers of the nominated players. Matt Rowell’s junior club, Canterbury Cobras, which plays in the YJFL, will receive a NAB Club Recognition Award valued at $2500, comprising financial and practical resources, as a result of his Round Four nomination.

Since supporting the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, NAB has donated over $900,000 worth of resources to junior football clubs through this initiative.
The NAB AFL Rising Star is part of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfill their dream of playing in the AFL. The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program comprises the following elements:

- NAB AFL Rising Star
- NAB AFL Draft
- NAB AFL Draft Combine
- NAB AFL Under-18 Championships
- NAB AFL Academy
- NAB AFL Under-16 Championships
- NAB League

NAB has been supporting footy from grassroots to the elite level since 2002, providing boys and girls with a clear pathway from NAB AFL Auskick through the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program all the way to the big time.