Callum Mills named Round 16 NAB AFL Rising Star

Jarrad McVeigh (left) and Callum Mills of the Swans celebrate during the 2016 AFL Round 16 match between the Geelong Cats and the Sydney Swans at Simonds Stadium on July 8, 2016 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Callum Mills from the Sydney Swans is the Round 16 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

The 19-year-old was one of the Swans’ best in the 38-point win over the Geelong Cats at Simonds Stadium last Friday night.

Mills kicked his first AFL goal amongst his 23 touches and six marks.

The tough and strong midfielder debuted in Round One and has missed only one match this season for a total of 14 games. He is averaging 18 disposals.

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said Mills has been very consistent in his first year playing in the AFL.

“Callum is an extremely hard player who understands the game really well and he’s been able to earn the trust of his teammates very quickly because of how he plays,” Longmire said.

“When it comes to how to prepare and compete at AFL level, Callum demonstrates a maturity beyond his years. He has been one of our most consistent players over the course of the entire season.

“Until this year, Callum had never played down back in his entire career. We identified a role there for him over the pre-season and he has been courageous in the way he has taken it on and competed against some of the opposition’s best players. The way he has gone about it is a real credit to him.”

Mills was selection three in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft. He was the first player to attract a bid under the AFL’s bidding system that was introduced last year. Melbourne bid its number three selection for Mills and the Swans were quick to match using their number 33, 36, 37 and 43 selections to move up the order and secure him.

Mills was recruited from the North Shore Bombers and was the first player to be drafted in the top 10 from metropolitan Sydney.

He was a member of the Swans Academy and the NAB AFL Academy.

Mills represented NSW/ACT in the 2014 and 2015 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. He was named an Under-18 All-Australian in 2014.

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 2016 NAB AFL Rising Star.

The 2016 NAB AFL Rising Star winner will be awarded the Ron Evans Medal and a $20,000 personal investment folio and a dedicated personal banker, courtesy of NAB.

NAB continues to grow the game by recognising the junior clubs that helped foster the early careers of the nominated players. Callum Mills’ junior club, the North Shore Bombers in the Sydney Football League, will receive a NAB Club Recognition Award valued at $2500, comprising financial and practical resources, as a result of his Round One nomination. Since supporting the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, NAB has donated over $765,000 worth of resources to junior football clubs through this initiative.