Geelong defender Jackson Thurlow has done the hard yards on the way to earning his AFL Rising Star nomination.
The 21-year-old made his debut two years ago and played four games.
He played another six senior matches last year, meaning at 10 games he was at the limit of eligibility for the award this season.
Thurlow suffered a lacerated kidney at training last December, but since returning to the side in round three he has only missed one game.
He was named the round-19 nominee after Geelong’s big home win last Saturday night over Sydney.
Thurlow is ranked first for total rebound 50s among players eligible for the Rising Star.
The Tasmanian was the Cats’ top pick at No.16 in the 2012 draft.
Thurlow signed a contract extension last month that will keep him at Geelong until the end of 2018.
“Jackson has had a breakout season and we are really proud of the way he goes about it his football,” Cats coach Chris Scott said.
“His enthusiasm and willingness to learn has allowed him to become a solid member of our defence and we are looking forward to watching him evolve as a player.”