5 Votes: Michael Gibbons
Good things come to those who wait, and this seemed equally appropriate for both the Carlton Football Club and Michael Gibbons himself. After years rising through the VFL ranks (with two J.J Liston Trophy’s to his name as well), Gibbons has been able to immerse himself into the Carlton line up.
The 23-year-old was influential in the Blues’ first win of the season over the Bulldogs, recording 21 possessions, taking six marks and having 10 score involvements.
He wasn’t given an AFL opportunity until now, and Gibbons is taking his chance with both hands.
4 Votes: Sydney Stack
The Tigers’ recruit has found himself back in the votes following a polished, composed display in Saturday night’s win over the Swans.
Stack collected 22 disposals against Sydney, using the ball at 81% efficiency. He made four tackles as well in what has been an impressive start in the footy world for the 18-year-old.
After arriving at Punt Road following the AFL’s Supplemental Selection Period, Stack has been able to average 16 disposals throughout his first three games.
Based on his strong start, it’s not likely to be the last time we see Stack in the voting fold.
3 Votes: Sam Walsh
The number one pick in last year’s National Draft just continues to impress. Walsh was instrumental in the Blues picking up the four points, notching up 26 possessions and being a constant headache for the Bulldogs.
It was only fitting that Walsh produced the icing on the cake, sealing the win with a last-second goal which broke the Blues’ 100-point drought, finally breaking the barrier after 1051 days.
After a scintillating first five games, to say Walsh would be a strong contender for the Rising Star award would be a gross understatement.
2 Votes: Callum Wilkie
After garnering two votes in the rookie votes following last weeks win against Hawthorn, St Kilda’s Callum Wilkie has backed it up again, with a sound performance against Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.
With Dylan Roberton and Jake Carlisle both missing, Wilkie has been an ideal replacement to the Saints defence.
The 23-year-old amassed 17 disposals in the win against the Demons, using the footy at 76% efficiency and complimenting the St Kilda side nicely, in what has been a strong start to the year for the football club.
With the young defender recently signing a new two-year deal, we’re likely to see more promise from Wilkie this season.
1 Vote: Will Hayes
Hayes has received a much-deserved vote this week, following a well-deserved debut for the Bulldogs outfit.
After spending five years on Footscray’s VFL list, Hayes was finally given an opportunity to make a name for himself in the AFL landscape, and the 23-year-old was able to seize the chance in Sunday’s loss to Carlton.
Hayes was impressive at Marvel Stadium, collecting 21 disposals, seven marks and seven score involvements for his troubles. He will be hoping to back it up against Fremantle in round six.
One a day of few positives for the Bulldogs, Hayes was certainly one of them.
18 – Sam Walsh (CARL)
10 – Charlie Constable (GEEL)
9 – Connor Rozee (PORT)
5 – Michael Gibbons (CARL)
5 – Sydney Stack (RICH)
4 – Bailey Scott (NM)
4 – Jack Ross (RICH)
4 – Zak Butters (PORT)
4 – Callum Wilkie (StK)
3 – Marty Hore (MELB)
3 – Gryan Miers (GEEL)
2 – Lachlan Schultz (FREM)
2 – William Drew (PORT)
1 – Josh Rotham (WC)
1 – Will Hayes (WBD)