MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 04: Aaron Naughton of the Bulldogs marks the ball against Dylan Grimes of the Tigers during the round seven AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Richmond Tigers at Marvel Stadium on May 04, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Youngster Aaron Naughton was truly dominant over the weekend, helping his team secure an outstanding 47-point win over Richmond. Naughton, who has only recently transitioned into the forward line from defence, found himself with plethora of contested marks and goals, emerging as a star in the Bulldogs’ victory.

The 19-year-old found himself just one contested mark short of Wayne Carey’s record of 10 in a game. He finished his outstanding performance with five goals and nine contested marks.

Naughton’s breakout performance saw him gain praise from Essendon premiership player Tim Watson, who branded him as a “thinker of the game”.

“When I look at Naughton, I see him as a thinker of the game and the way he positions himself where he plays,” he told SEN Breakfast.

“Even when he played as a defender early in his career, he looked like he really understood the way the game was being played and what he needed to do in different circumstances and different situations.

“For him to go forward and play the way that he does, when he gets enough opportunities, enough looks like they provided for him on Saturday night, then he is going to be in the game.”

North Melbourne premiership player David King also applauds the young forward for his efforts on Saturday night, resonating with Watson’s beliefs.

“Naughton, I said that he’s got to play back, he’d failed as a forward for the last three weeks but gee, what a performance that was,” he told SEN’s Whateley.

“His contested marking was out of this world. Credit to him and the coaches for sticking fat there.”

Naughton and the Bulldogs look to continue their momentum and go back-to-back this week when they face the Brisbane Lions at Mars Stadium on Saturday night.