SUNS Academy product Connor Budarick has been named this week’s NAB AFL Rising Star nominee after an impressive game in defence against the Adelaide Crows.
Budarick had 16 disposals in the victory whilst also kicking the first goal of his AFL career to compliment his six marks and two tackles for the match.
The 19-year-old made his AFL debut in Round 1 after joining the club as a priority rookie selection through the SUNS Academy.
Budarick who grew up on the Coast, attended Helensvale State High School and played his junior football for the Labrador Tigers.
He joined the SUNS Academy at the age of 12 and made his senior football debut for Southport Sharks when he was 16.
In his draft year, Budarick captained the SUNS Academy to a maiden NAB AFL Academy Series championship and won the Hunter Harrison medal as the best player in that competition.
His professionalism and leadership are some of his standout qualities as well his composure on the field under pressure.
Budarick‘s NAB AFL Rising Star nomination comes after fellow draftee Matt Rowell’s nomination from Round 2.
A NAB AFL Rising Star nominee will be named following each week of football in the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership season.
Following each week 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. Connor Budarick’s junior club, Labrador Tiger, which plays in the AFLGCJ, 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