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Cerra’s footy focus

Adam Cerra spoke to media after his rising star nomination. Adam Cerra spoke to media after his rising star nomination.

It would be easy for Adam Cerra to get swept up in the hype surrounding the newest NAB AFL Rising Star Nominee, however the 18-year-old has his head set squarely on his shoulders.

Some in the media have suggested Cerra’s no.5 selection at the 2017 NAB AFL National Draft could have been even higher if it weren’t for his then-recent shoulder surgery, while his potential as a ‘future Brownlow medallist’ has also been discussed.

The external noise has only gotten louder with every impressive Cerra performance, with his seven marks and 23 possessions against Melbourne on Saturday night in Darwin another of a series of promising showings - and enough to earn the round 16 nomination.

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Cerra said such talking points mattered little so early in his development and AFL career and he felt no pressure coming in as a high draft pick.

“I see myself as equal to the two rookies (Bailey Banfield and Stefan Giro) we picked up,” Cerra said.

“We’re all playing AFL at the moment, so it shows there’s no difference from where you’re drafted.

“We all get the same opportunity, so it’s just a matter of how you deal with it and how you train.

“When they come in the first day, we’re all equals so I don’t feel like there’s any extra pressure on myself coming in. I just want to be myself and do my best to play my best footy.”

Off the field Cerra is enjoying life in Perth with the closely-knit group of young players at the club. 

“It’s been awesome, I think we had nine or 10 taken in the draft so there’s a fair few of us (first-year-players),” Cerra said.

“We hang out most days together at the club and even outside of the club. With a few of them coming from interstate, we’ve been helping each other out to settle in Perth.” 

In particular, Cerra’s been working closely with no.2 pick Andrew Brayshaw.

Brayshaw has played every game this season while Cerra’s played in all but the opening round, with the midfield pair building on their bonds as former Vic Metro teammates.

“Me and Andy knew each other previously before the draft so coming over here with him as made it a lot easier,” Cerra said.

“Being able to go through and play some of our first games and get wins together, our relationship’s definitely blossomed I feel since coming over here.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs