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Burton a star on the rise

Ryan Burton Highlights - Round 2 Playing in only his fifth match, Burton played a tough contested game against the Crows on Saturday picking up 26 disposals.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Ryan Burton of the Hawks kicks the ball during the 2017 AFL round 02 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Adelaide Crows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 01, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Ryan Burton has been rewarded for his Round 2 performance with a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination

RYAN Burton is the Round Two NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

Burton impressed in the club’s 24-point loss to the Adelaide Crows at the MCG on Saturday.

The 20-year-old key position player gathered 26 possessions, nine marks, and laid four tackles in his outstanding performance.

Despite lining up against Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker for much of Saturday’s game, the Hawks’ new number five oozed class and showed calmness under pressure, collecting 26 disposals including a team-high 11 intercept possessions.

Senior Coach Alastair Clarkson was pleased with the way his young backman handled the challenge.

“Young Burto had a pretty big task playing on Tex Walker,” Clarkson said in his post-match press conference.

“He had over 20 disposals and took some marks for us, so we’re really pleased with the way he acquitted himself over the course of the game.”

Burton played for North Adelaide in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and was Hawthorn’s first selection and nineteenth overall in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft.

He represented South Australia in the 2014 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships where he dominated as a bottom-age player before badly breaking his leg playing in the SANFL.

Burton made his AFL debut for the Hawks in Round 21 of the 2016 Toyota AFL Premiership season against North Melbourne. Having played forward in his first two games in the AFL, Burton was then swung into defence, playing arguably his best game of 2016 against Collingwood in Round 23.

Following each round of the Home and Away season, a panel of judges select a NAB AFL Rising Star nominee. At the completion of the season, one of these nominees will be chosen as the 2017 NAB AFL Rising Star.