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Cerra's star keeps on rising

afl.com.au  July 9, 2018 7:09 PM

Adam Cerra finished with 23 disposals and seven marks in his NAB AFL Rising Star nomination game in round 16.

Adam Cerra’s impressive debut season has been acknowledged with the NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for round 16.

Cerra has spent time up forward, through the midfield and more recently at half-back, including a spectacular 30-possession, best-on-ground effort in a Dockers win over Adelaide in round 12.

The young gun followed up with 23 disposals, seven marks, six intercept possessions, five rebound 50s and three clearances in an all-round performance against Melbourne in Darwin on Saturday night.

Taken with Fremantle’s second selection, fifth overall, in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft, Cerra’s ability to work well in confined spaces and get outside the contest earnt him a call up to the senior side in round 2 and has held his spot in the team since.

The 18-year-old has been a prolific ball-winner for Fremantle with an average of 14.6 possessions per game for the 2018 season at a 75 per cent disposal efficiency.

Eastern Ranges coach Darren Bewick, a dual Essendon premiership forward, told AFL.com.au last year he rated Cerra as highly as any player to graduate from his club in his eight seasons there. 

That list includes Christian Petracca, Jon Patton, Tom Boyd and another 2017 top-10 draft pick, Collingwood's Jaidyn Stephenson. 

Cerra and Stephenson headlined 10 Ranges footballers who were selected in either the national or rookie drafts last year.

"I was super proud on draft night. I was pretty excited when my name was called out, but after that I was really keen to see which other Ranges boys got picked up," Cerra said.

"To see all of us grow through that time then achieve that dream of getting drafted and hopefully play some AFL was awesome."

Cerra was one of nine Dockers at the weekend who had played 25 or fewer games and there is genuine talent among them – enough for him to be "pretty excited" about the future.

Only the Western Bulldogs fielded a younger and more inexperienced team in round 16.

"I'm pretty pleased with how my first year's gone," he said.

"I'm only 18, so I've still got plenty to learn and I didn't expect to play this many games straight away, but the fact I have is pleasing.

"I've had a bit of inconsistency at times, but … I'm playing with new teammates and being a young team, I think we all experience that a little bit."

Among Fremantle's youth is Andrew Brayshaw, last year's No.2 draft pick, who has developed a strong bond with former Vic Metro teammate Cerra.

They are largely inseparable at the club, but also carpool to their shared university commerce lectures and plan to move in together, along with Hugh Dixon, at season's end.

Brayshaw currently lives with Dockers captain and competition superstar Nat Fyfe, who has taken on a mentoring role with both him and Cerra.

"Prior to the draft, me and Andy played state footy together and were a little bit of rivals in school footy and TAC Cup," Cerra said. 

"We were both taken quite early (in the draft) and have played games this year, so our relationship has definitely blossomed and we do most things together."

Brayshaw currently lives with Dockers captain and competition superstar Nat Fyfe, who has taken on a mentoring role with both him and Cerra.

"Prior to the draft, me and Andy played state footy together and were a little bit of rivals in school footy and TAC Cup," Cerra said. 

"We were both taken quite early (in the draft) and have played games this year, so our relationship has definitely blossomed and we do most things together."

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