Young SUNS ruck Lauren Bella has been rewarded for her outstanding form this season with a NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination for Round 7.
Bella was dominant in the ruck against Richmond, recording 25 hit-outs and two tackles.
She is currently the number one ruck in the competition for hit-outs, averaging 21 per game in 2021.
SUNS AFLW Senior Coach David Lake said Bella was a deserving NAB AFLW Rising Star nominee with the consistency she has shown this season.
“We think Lauren is one of the best rucks in the competition and it’s fitting to see her recognised with this nomination,” Lake said.
“She’s shown so much improvement in the last 12 months and has now developed her game further to become more effective across more parts of her game.
“What’s even more impressive is how resilient Lauren has become as a player and a person; she’s grown as she’s gotten older and is always open to learning and getting better which is really exciting for us going forward.”
Bella, 20, is a Mackay product who has come from the SUNS Academy.
She has played all seven games this season and a total of 17 in her three-year career.
All AFLW players 21 years and under as at 1 January 2021 and who have not previously been nominated as a rising star qualify for consideration for the award.
Two players will be nominated each week of the NAB AFL Women’s Competition. Each of the 18 NAB AFL Women’s Rising Star nominees throughout the season will be awarded $500 prize money from NAB to acknowledge their great achievement.
In addition, NAB will continue to support the development of future footy stars by awarding junior clubs of each nominee with a NAB Club Recognition Award pack of practical and financial resources, valued at $2000.