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Anderson the rising star

Press Conference: Anderson Jed Anderson talks to the media after being nominated for the NAB Rising Star award.
Jed Anderson of the Hawks snaps during the 2013 AFL round 03 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG, Melbourne on April 14, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jed Anderson is this week's rising star nominee.

THE FINAL few years before a teenager gets drafted are normally spent juggling football and school commitments.

But for the round three NAB AFL Rising Star, Hawthorn midfielder Jed Anderson, life's had much more to contend with than just footy and study.

In the space of two and a half years, Anderson moved from Darwin to Sydney and back, saw his brother get delisted by Carlton, dealt with his father's sudden death, got drafted to Hawthorn and just last week, became a father for the first time.

The 19-year-old credits his family and the Hawks, with helping him cope with everything life has thrown at him.

"My family have been fully supportive of me, talk to me often and are really proud of my achievements," Anderson told AFL.com.au.

"And I think coming to Hawthorn, a family club, has really helped me settle in to Melbourne."

Anderson has played all three games in his debut season and Sunday's performance againstCollingwood was the pick of the bunch.

The hard at it midfielder collected 16 disposals, three tackles, laid a bone-crunching bump on Scott Pendlebury and kicked a team-lifting goal in the 55 point win over the Magpies.

" I just felt more comfortable out there, I'm gradually improving and it's starting to show," he said.

Growing up in Darwin as one of seven siblings, Anderson's footballing prowess came to the attention of the fledgling GWS Giants, and he was quickly snapped up as one its Northern Territory zone selections.

He played the 2010 season in the Giants' TAC Cup team before returning to Darwin after homesickness kicked in.

"It was a good experience there and gave me a good idea of what I'd have to contend with if I got drafted," Anderson said.

Around the same time, his brother Joe was delisted by Carlton after three years and 17 games with the Blues.

Initially devastated by his brother's AFL career ending so quickly, Anderson now uses Joe as a sounding board for his own experiences.

"He's been one of the biggest mentors I've had, I talk to him about footy and he's just been a big help," he said.

Life and death have also had a big impact on Anderson.

The loss of his father David to a heart attack last July while Jed was captaining Northern Territory at the National Under 18 Championships hit him hard.

But time heals and he'll have less of that to spare now he's a professional footballer and a father to new baby Elijah.

"I'm rapt for the birth of our first child and to be starting off in footy, they're just stepping stones of life,"  said the proud father.