Former Sandringham Dragons captain Bailey Smith was nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star award following a prolific performance for the Western Bulldogs in Round 9.
The 185cm 18-year-old recorded 28 disposals at 89 per cent efficiency, 10 contested possessions and five clearances in the Bulldogs’ 44-point loss to Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.
The round nine NAB AFL Rising Star nominee is Bailey Smith, congratulations Baz! pic.twitter.com/PIiKi4HJEu
— AFL (@AFL) May 20, 2019
Smith was selected by the Bulldogs with pick no.7 at the 2018 NAB AFL Draft after appearing in 14 games for the Dragons across the last two years. He featured in Sandringham’s run to the 2017 Victorian U18 Boys Grand Final as a defender but transitioned into a playmaking midfield role in 2018, when he was named in the Victorian U18 Boys Team of the Year.
The East Malvern (South Metro Junior FL) product also claimed Vic Metro’s MVP award and an Under-18 All Australian guernsey following four standout games in the 2018 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Smith made his AFL debut in Round 1 of the 2019 season and has played all nine matches since, averaging 17 disposals and four tackles per game.
He joins Geelong’s Charlie Constable (ex-Sandringham Dragons), Carlton’s Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons), West Coast’s Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights), Port Adelaide’s Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power) and Geelong’s Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons) as former Victorian U18 Boys players to be nominated for the AFL Rising Star award in 2019.