by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Brisbane young gun Lewis Taylor beat out emerging Bulldog star Marcus Bontempelli by one vote to be named the 2014 Rising Star. In the closest count since the award was first presented in 1993, Taylor won with 39 votes. He received the Ron Evans Medal (named for the late AFL Commission member), a $20,000 investment portfolio and access to a personal banker. The portfolio is donated by the National Australia Bank (NAB) which sponsors the award.
Taylor, 19, debuted in the opening round and was one of just three Lions to play every game. He earned his nomination in Round Nine against North Melbourne. Although the Lions copped an 87 point battering, Taylor was one of the Lions' best on ground with 20 possessions, eight marks and three tackles.
Of the 23 nominees, the midfielder had the most disposals (371), the third most score involvements (86) and fifth most contested possessions (109). His averages included 17 disposals, five contested and 12 uncontested possessions, four marks (catching the ball), two inside 50s and two tackles. He kicked 12 goals.
Taylor played for the Geelong Falcons in he TAC Cap and captained Vic Country in the 2013 Under-18 tournament. He was named 2013 All-Australian and was a member of the 2012 AIS-AFL Academy. Taylor is the fourth Brisbane player to win the award, following Nathan Buckley (1993, he departed for Collingwood at the end of 1993), Chris Scott 1994 and Daniel Rich 2009.
The award is voted on by the All-Australian selection panel: Gillon McLachlan (chairman), Mark Evans, Danny Frawley, Warren Tredrea, Glen Jakovich, Cameron Ling, Luke Darcy, Matthew Richardson, Kevin Bartlett and Kevin Sheehan (Rising Star selector only). The voting finished as follows: Lewis Taylor 39, Marcus Bontempelli 38, Luke McDonald (NM) 32, James Aish (BRIS), 19, Kade Kolodjashnij (GC) 7, Luke Dunstan (STK) 5, Tom Langdon (COL) 5, Harry Cunningham (SYD), 3, Josh Kelly (GWS) 3, Jarman Impey (PA) 1.
Source: Michelle Clyne, AFL Media Release
Article last changed on Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 7:34 PM EDT