Former Rockhamption giant Zac Smith, now playing with the Gold Coast Suns, is the Round Seven NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

Tuesday, 10 May, 2011

Zac Smith from the Gold Coast Suns is the Round Seven NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

Playing for Gold Coast Football Club, the 21-year-old 205 cm ruckman had 22 disposals, including seven marks, in the Suns’ eight-point win over Brisbane Lions last Saturday night at the Gabba.

His deft touch with his foot, were he soccered a low ball into open space to set up a goal for teammate Nathan Krakouer, was one of the most inventive things that will be seen on an AFL field this season.

Sons coach Guy McKenna said he is pleased Zac is this week’s nomination.

“Zac has worked extremely hard since arriving at the club three years ago and I have seen him learn and grow into the exciting player that he is becoming,” McKenna said.

“He has been playing AFL for just over five years now, and in his previous two seasons with the club, through U18s and in the VFL, he won our most professional player award, setting a great example for his teammates to follow.”

From Rockhampton, Smith is a graduate of the AFLQ Rookie Search program, and didn’t take up football seriously until 2007 after representing Queensland in outdoor and indoor soccer.

He trained with the AFL Capricornia Development Squad in Rockhampton in 2005, joined the AFLQ Rookie Search Program in ’06 and was invited to the AFL Talent Camp with the AIS/AFL Academy squad in Canberra in ‘07.

Having moved to Brisbane with his family in 2008 to further his football via the Zillmere Eagles, he was a standout member of the Country Kookaburras and Queensland U18 side, and finished fifth overall in the QAFL Rising Star Award won by Rohan Bail from Dayne Beams.

Signed by the Gold Coast among the first intake of Queenslanders in late 2008, he finished 7th in the Gold Coast’s 2009 B&F in their TAC Cup year while winning the ‘Most Professional Player’ award.

In 2010 in the VFL he finished 4th in the B&F and again won the ‘Most Professional Player’ Award.

Was also named in the 2010 VFL Team of the Year, and was the only VFL player named in the Queensland Team of the Year.

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