Heeney fourth in Rising Star

Above: A table at the 2015 NAB AFL Rising Star Award (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Sydney Swans utility Isaac Heeney has finished fourth in the NAB AFL Rising Star Award, announced at a gala in Melbourne today.

Despite playing just 12 senior games in an injury-riddled debut season, the 19-year-old polled 12 votes, finishing behind Western Australian trio Jesse Hogan (Melbourne) , Patrick Cripps (Carlton), and Dom Sheed (West Coast).

After the first three weeks of Heeney’s outstanding debut season, the then 18-year-old was averaging 15 disposals and had booted five goals including a four-haul against GWS.

Heeney starred against the Giants, using his 10 disposals at 100 percent efficiency while having a hand in three other goals to earn the Rising Star nomination and officially enter the running for the prestigious award.

Finishing one place from the podium will no doubt elevate Heeney’s profile higher in AFL heartland, but he has already gained significant acclaim in his home state.

The youngster, who grew up in Newcastle and excelled at several sports as a junior, has become a cult figure among football fans this year, with his bright blonde locks earning him the nicknames ‘Snow White’ and ‘Milky Bar Kid.’

Heeney had a dream AFL debut, kicking the winning goal in his side’s comeback win over Essendon in Round 1, and he’s looked at home at the highest level ever since, his class and versatility gaining his a foothold in the Swans’ best 22.

Heeney will be a key cog in the Swans’ forward line as they begin their finals campaign against Fremantle this Saturday.

Read an extract of  story of Isaac Heeney’s draft year in Emma Quayle’s ‘The Draftees’ HERE.