The AFL’s latest NAB Rising Star nominee Hayden Young already has the composure of a 200-game player, according to Gerard Healy.
Speaking on Fox Footy’s On the Couch, Healy praised the second-year Freo Docker for a career-best performance where he kept Richmond star Shai Bolton goalless in a one-on-one battle.
It was the defender’s 10th game in two seasons after sustaining two significant injuries since being drafted at no.7 in the 2019 NAB AFL National Draft.
“I've heard a lot about this kid, he's had syndesmosis issues, he had a hamstring rip off the bone,” Healy said.
“They've had him for two years and on the weekend he was on Shai Bolton, he put on a clinic.
“He looked like a 200-game player, he's got a lethal leg. He's also a very courageous mark and he's a good decision maker.
“His victory over Shai Bolton went a long way to deciding that particular game and he got the Rising Star Award for the weekend, so well done to you Hayden.”
Healy added that Young may have been a bargain at no.7 in the draft, quoting the AFL’s talent ambassador, Kevin Sheehan.
“According to ‘Shifter’ Sheehan, he could well have gone at the number one in his draft year,” Healy said.
Speaking to media after being awarded the Rising Star nomination for round 20, Young said he was proud to have bounced back from a tough start to his career.
“It's nice to get some recognition for the hard work I've put in for the past couple of years,” Young said.
“It's a credit to all the strength and conditioning staff, the physios and the doctors who have helped me along the way to get back on the park and play some good footy. I'm proud of it.
“(My body) is feeling really good. I spent a couple weeks in the WAFL, which I really enjoyed. I feel like my body's adapted well to coming back and playing AFL footy. I'm really happy with how it's going at the moment.”