There are plenty of incredibly talented youngsters aiming at the 2021 Rising Star award; but there’s something missing that shows the true impact of Covid on the AFL.
For the first time since 2015, when Jesse Hogan (2012 mini-draft) won it, we won’t see a first-year player be named Rising Star – that is, a player going directly from the national draft, into his first AFL season and then claiming the crown.
Of the five favourites for the 2021 title, four were drafted back in 2019, while James Jordon’s 2018 draft feels like ancient times. After all, his draftmates Bailey Smith and Sam Walsh have already played 60 AFL games.
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In footy history, 16 players have been nominated for the Rising Star award twice; five of those players are from this year, including four of the favourites -…