Gold Coast product named AFL Rising Star nominee

Gold Coaster and Suns Academy product, Connor Budarick, has been named this week’s NAB AFL Rising Star nominee following an impressive performance against the Adelaide Crows on Sunday.

The 19-year-old had 16 disposals, six marks and two tackles in the victory whilst also kicking the first goal of his AFL career.

Budarick grew up on the Gold Coast, attending Helensvale State High School and played his junior football for the Labrador Tigers, who will also receive a NAB Club Recognition Award valued at $2500 as a result of Budarick’s nomination.


A superstar from a young age, he joined the Suns Academy at the age of 12 and made his senior football debut for Southport Sharks when he was 16 before making his AFL debut in Round 1 after joining the club as a priority rookie selection through the Academy.

In his draft year, Budarick captained the Suns Academy to a maiden NAB AFL Academy Series championship and won the Hunter Harrison medal as the best player in that competition.

Budarick‘ s NAB AFL Rising Star nomination comes after fellow draftee Matt Rowell’s nomination from Round 2.

The 2020 NAB AFL Rising Star winner will be awarded the Ron Evans Medal, along with $20,000 from NAB and with a dedicated private banker.

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