Small Swan continues trend with Rising Star nomination

SYDNEY Swans forward Tom Papley has struck another blow for supposedly undersized players, earning the round five nomination for the NAB AFL Rising Star award.

Papley was rejected by every club before being drafted as a rookie by the Swans at the end of 2015, and he is repaying his club’s faith in spades this season.

The 177cm forward has played every game and produced his best effort against West Coast on Saturday, kicking two goals to go with 20 possessions, six inside 50s and eight marks in the wet.

His rise has been rapid after spending 2015 as an overage player in the TAC Cup with the Gippsland Power, kicking 33 goals from 15 games.

The 19-year-old also broke into the Casey Scorpions VFL team last year, earning senior experience and convincing the Swans that he could be a valuable asset this season as a small forward.

“It was a bit of disappointment being passed over in the draft but I went to work the next day and kept positive,” Papley said earlier this year.

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