Sydney coach John Longmire says his club’s AFL Rising Star favourite Callum Mills can be too courageous for his own good.
On Monday afternoon Sportsbet.com.au had Mills listed at $1.18 favourite to win the award, with Bulldogs’ midfielder Caleb Daniel ($4.00) as the only other nominee in single digits.
Essendon’s Darcy Parish ($13) and Melbourne’s Christian Petracca ($15) were the only others quoted below $20.
Recruited as a midfielder, Swans academy graduate Mills has starred in an unfamiliar half-back role.
Mills 19, has played 20 out off 22 games, being rested from one and missing the Swans last match with a minor calf injury.
He is expected to be fit for Saturday’s qualifying final against GWS Giants.
“He’s been terrific, he’s strong with the ball,” Longmire said.
“He’s really courageous and sometimes a bit too courageous for his own good, he’s that hard at the ball.
“But he’s also a very smart decision maker and he’s got a very mature approach to footy.
“He’s been a fantastic addition for us this year.”
Asked when Mills might finally get a run in the midfield, Longmire said “I think that will evolve over time.”
South Australian Daniel, 168cms tall and the smallest player in the AFL, has become a dynamic part of the Bulldogs midfield.
After playing 10 games last year, he has added 20 more in 2016, averaging 21 touches a match.
“I think you can tell that he’s wise beyond his years,” Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli said.
“His footballing capabilities and skill work are quite incredible.
“His vision and his ability to see options that not many players do just helps you as a team with your ball movement, in particular.”
Among those to have won the Rising Star award in the past are Nathan Buckley, Adam Goodes, Nick Riewoldt, Sam Mitchell and Joel Selwood.