Kolodjashnij's star on rise with Suns

PRAISE continued to flow yesterday for Launceston's Rising Star nominee Kade Kolodjashnij from those that know him best at his old and new football clubs.

Gold Coast teammate David Swallow, a former No.1 draft pick who was nominated for the award in round 14, 2011, said he wasn't surprised to learn of the nomination.

``Kade has had a terrific start to the year and has been really consistent for us,'' Swallow said.

``He's come in and played his role and for him to get his reward as a rising star (nominee) is a testament to the start that he's had to his career.''

Playing off half-back and up the wing in the Grant Birchall mould, it's a role that has seen the 18-year-old, who was the fifth pick in last year's national draft, average 21 touches in his seven games. 

He is number one for kicks and disposals per game for players eligible for the Ron Evans Medal (21 or younger on January 1 who have played 10 or fewer senior games before the start of the season and do not get suspended during the year).

Kolodjashnij yesterday credited the faith put in him by the coaching staff and  acceptance by his teammates as key to his flying start.

Suns coach Guy McKenna said his young star  ``just looks so comfortable with the pace of the game''. 

``What stood out as soon as he arrived at the club was just how calm and composed Kade is. 

``He has quietly gone about his business since then; over the pre-season he moved into the top six runners at the club without much fanfare, and in season, his use off half-back has been exceptional.''

His coach at the Launceston Football Club last year, Brennan Savage, said he wasn't surprised to see Kolodjashnij achieving at the highest level.

``AFL footy is something he was always going to do, and we all knew that. He has hit the ground running by not dominating games, just playing his role.

``I've seen and played with a few players that have played at the highest level and as a young player he was certainly the stand-out.''

Kolodjashnij is seen as one of the hot favourites for the Rising Star with Collingwood's Tom Langdon, GWS's Josh Kelly and Brisbane's James Aish, an award which has never been won by a Tasmanian.

Jake and Kade Kolodjashnij.

 Kade is seen as one of the hot favourites for the Rising Star award.

Jake and Kade Kolodjashnij. Kade is seen as one of the hot favourites for the Rising Star award.

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