The long wait is over – Sydney youngster Callum Mills is the AFL’s Rising Star nominee for round 16.
Mills, 19, has been spoken of as a potential overall winner of the award given his stellar debut season for the Swans playing predominantly across half-back.
But consternation grew as the weeks passed without a nomination for the Swans academy product.
However, a polished 23-possession, one-goal effort in Sydney’s impressive win over Geelong was enough for him to finally get the judges’ nod.
“Callum is an extremely hard player who understands the game really well and he’s been able to earn the trust of his teammates very quickly because of how he plays,” coach John Longmire said.
“When it comes to how to prepare and compete at AFL level, Callum demonstrates a maturity beyond his years. He has been one of our most consistent players over the course of the entire season.
“Until this year, Callum had never played down back in his entire career. We identified a role there for him over the pre-season and he has been courageous in the way he has taken it on and competed against some of the opposition’s best players.
“The way he has gone about it is a real credit to him.”
Sydney used the third overall pick at last year’s draft to snare Mills after Melbourne bid their first-round pick for him.