Former Eastern Ranges captain Dylan Clarke was nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star award following a standout third match at the elite level for Essendon in Round 13.
The 187cm 20-year-old recorded 23 disposals at 83 per cent efficiency, 12 contested possessions and five clearances in the Bombers’ 19-point victory over Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
— AFL (@AFL) June 17, 2019
Clarke was selected by Essendon with pick no.63 at the 2016 NAB AFL Draft after playing 22 games for the Ranges from 2014-16 as a ball-winning midfielder. He was a key part of Eastern’s run to the Victorian Under-18 Boys Grand Final as a bottom-ager in 2015 and then won the club’s best-and-fairest award in 2016 despite appearing in only eight games.
The Rowville Hawks (Eastern FL) product also earned an Under-18 All Australian guernsey for his performances for Vic Metro in the 2016 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Clarke made his AFL debut in Round 9 of the 2018 season before returning to the Bombers’ senior line-up in Round 11 this year. When not appearing at AFL level, he has proven to be one of the Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL’s most consistently prolific players in 44 games for Essendon’s VFL team across the last three seasons.
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), Geelong’s Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons) and Western Bulldogs’ Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons) as former Victorian Under-18 Boys players to be nominated for the AFL Rising Star award in 2019.