Former Montmorency junior Nik Cox has been named the Round 12 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.
One of the leading chances for the Rising Star award, Cox received his long-deserved nomination following an impressive showing in Essendon’s Dreamtime clash against Richmond on Saturday night.
The 19-year-old amassed a career-high 23 disposals in the Bombers’ 19.9 (123) to 12.12 (84) defeat to the reigning premiers at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
His performance also included eight marks, seven score involvements and a goal.
Cox was selected at pick No.8 in the 2020 AFL National Draft and has played all 12 games in his debut season.
Standing 200cm, he has impressed on the wing and in stints across half forward and in the ruck, with his athleticism and ability to kick on both feet proving key features of his game.
Essendon’s general manager of football Josh Mahoney said Cox’s Rising Star nomination was deserved recognition following an impressive start to his AFL career.
“We’ve been pleased with Nik’s progress since he arrived at the club,” Mahoney told the Essendon website.
“To play every game so far this season after no competitive football in his draft year is a testament to his commitment in wanting to get better week in and week out, and we know he will continue to display that.
“This Rising Star nomination is well deserved for Nik and we are enjoying watching his growth with every game he plays.”
Cox played his entire junior career with Montmorency Junior Football Club, before progressing through to the Northern Knights.
He represented Vic Metro at the 2019 AFL Under-18 Championships, was a member of the NAB AFL Academy and was named co-captain of the Knights in 2020, prior to the cancelled NAB League campaign.
Cox is now in the running to become the 2021 AFL Rising Star, with the winner to be awarded the Ron Evans Medal, along with $20,000.