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Hardwick's star on the rise

Hardwick on NAB Rising Star Nomination Blake Hardwick was nominated for this week's NAB Rising Star.

Young Hawthorn defender Blake Hardwick has been rewarded for his impressive performance against the Pies with the Round 15 Rising Star nomination.

Hardwick gathered 19 touches, including 11 intercept possessions, at 95 per cent disposal efficiency on his way to earning the nomination. Playing on dangerous small forward Jamie Elliott, he held the Magpie to just one goal and 10 touches for the match. 

In his 11 games this year, Hardwick is averaging a tick under 15 disposals a game while playing across Hawthorn’s half back flank.

The 20-year-old currently sits sixth in the league for average disposal efficiency (of those who have played at least three games) with 87 per cent.

In his post-match press conference, Alastair Clarkson praised his young defender for standing strong against tough opponents in consecutive weeks. 

“Hardwick played on Eddie Betts last week and played on Jamie Elliott this week, and he’s kept those guys to just two goals across two games.

“So [achievements like that] are just little milestones for our young players… that hopefully over time gives them great confidence that they can be part of a successful finals side for us in the years to come.” 

Hardwick is the second Hawk to be nominated this year, following Ryan Burton’s nomination for his performance against Adelaide in Round 2.

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs