FREMANTLE youngster Nathan Fyfe is this week’s nomination for the NAB AFL Rising Star.

The exciting mid-sized forward earned the nomination for gathering 23 disposals in Fremantle’s win over the Sydney Swans on Saturday.

The 18-year-old admits he was surprised that he has slotted in to the senior team so early in his career and says he has been overwhelmed with how approachable he has found his new teammates.

“I look up to the leaders of the club – Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands but for me Paul Duffield and Ryan Murphy have been great mentors and easy to approach guys who I can go and talk to about any issues on field or off field and they’ve been a big help,” he said.

The home-grown Sandgroper was drafted by Fremantle with pick 20 in the 2009 NAB AFL Draft after impressive performances for Claremont Colts and Western Australia’s State Under 18s side. The highlight of his carnival came when he booted four goals against a powerful Vic Metro side.

Fyfe made his debut in round five at Subiaco where he became the 150th player to represent Fremantle in the AFL. Oddly enough, his debut match was against Richmond, the club he barracked for until Fremantle read his name out at draft day last year.

Not content with being a Richmond fan growing up in Perth, Fyfe continued to look beyond traditional loyalties to identify his hero. In his case it was Essendon champion James Hird.

“Growing up I always loved watching him play. There are not many players better than him in the way he understood and read the game,” he said.

“It is something I always aspired to have as part of my game. I also love watching the power forwards of the game like Matthew Pavlich and Nick Riewoldt.”

Fyfe joined fellow Western Australians Anthony Morabito and Joel Houghton as well as Jesse Chrichton (Tasmania), Dylan Roberton (Victoria) and Justin Bollenhagen (South Australia) in joining Fremantle on draft day and he says the group has become close since joining the purple army.

“We are a very tight-knit young group and I think that is really influential in where we’re going as a club and the success that we’re having,” he said.

Fyfe is the first of the bunch to be nominated for the rising star but he says he could see his highly-fancied teammate Morabito take the major prize at the end of the year.

“His nomination will come I’m sure. He is a great footballer and I’m sure his season will only blossom as it goes on,” he said.

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