Essendon’s Massimo D’Ambrosio has been named the Round 16 NAB Rising Star nominee.
The 19-year-old arrived at the NEC Hanger in June via the 2022 Mid-Season Rookie Draft, taken by third overall pick.
D’Ambrosio made a remarkable move to the AFL, making his Essendon debut just three weeks after co-captaining the Western Jets in the NAB League.
In his third AFL game of the weekend, D’Ambrosio had 23 disposals with 78% efficiency, four intercepting possessions and three goals.
Senior coach Ben Rutten praised D’Ambrosio’s attacking play and defensive abilities after Essendon’s nine point win over the Sydney Swans on Saturday.
“The way he supports his kick in and hits targets creates things for us. He also defends hard and knows how to use his body,” said Rutten.
“He’s a great little player. He has a very infectious personality.”
“I think he’s still pinching himself, everything is still brand new to him.”
D’Ambrosio played Auskick before starting junior football with Point Cook Football Club in the Western Region Football League.
He is the third Essendon player to be nominated for the NAB Rising Star this year, alongside Nic Martin (Round 1) and Ben Hobbs (Round 14).