Judges reward Kolodjashnij's bright start

Kade Kolodjashnij finished fifth in the prestigious Rising Star award.

Kade Kolodjashnij finished fifth in the prestigious Rising Star award.

KADE Kolodjashnij's outstanding first season at the highest level was yesterday acknowledged with fifth place in the prestigious Rising Star award.

The 18-year-old from Launceston polled seven votes in the Ron Evans Medal, which was won by Brisbane's Lewis Taylor on 39 votes, from Western Bulldog Marcus Bontempelli on 38 votes.

Kolodjashnij picked up two votes from former St Kilda captain and Richmond coach Danny Frawley, two from Port Adelaide premiership skipper Warren Tredrea, two from former Western Bulldog Luke Darcey and one from the AFL's talent manager Kevin Sheehan.

Ten experts, including AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, voted 5,4,3,2,1 for the award for the league's best young player under 21.

Kolodjashnij, the no.5 pick from last year's national draft, played 18 games this season, averaging 18 touches, five marks and two tackles a game.

The running defender was first among the players eligible for the award (who had played at least five matches) for kicks per game (10.7), equal second in total kicks (192), second in rebound 50s (52), second in rebound 50s per game (2.9), first in uncontested possessions per game (12.1) and second in total bounces (14).

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