Fantasia earns nomination

downloadOrazio Fantasia has been named the Round 17 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

The 20 year old kicked three goals and laid seven tackles against Richmond on Saturday.

Fantasia has kicked 11 goals in his last four games and 21 for the season, to sit second in the Bombers goal-kicking race.

He produced strong performances against GWS (four goals), Geelong (29 possessions), Collingwood (25 possessions, two goals) and Hawthorn (27 possessions).

Essendon coach, John Worsfold, said the nomination was a fitting reward for Fantasia who has enjoyed a consistent season of senior football.

“Orazio is one of our exciting younger players who is thriving on the challenge and demands of performing at senior level,” Worsfold said.

“His development to date has been impressive, he has a deep hunger to be better, learn and improve with each game.

“Orazio has explosive speed, composure under pressure and a great sense for goal.

“Orazio is an important part of our team structure, and we believe he has an extremely bright future ahead of him.”

Fantasia is the tenth player to be nominated for the award twice.

Essendon’s All-Australian defender Michael Hurley is also among that group.

Fantasia was recruited from the Payneham Norwood Union Junior Football Club and the Norwood Football Club in Adelaide.

He played in a premiership with Norwood in the SANFL before the Bombers selected him with the 55th pick in the 2013 National Draft.