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Melksham wins Round 8 Rising Star nomination

Jake Melksham celebrates a goal during the Round 8 victory over St Kilda.
Jake Melksham has been named the Round 8 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.
Jake earned his nomination after an outstanding performance on Sunday against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium where he gathered 14 possessions, three clearances, three tackles and kicked a goal.
The 18-year-old, who made is AFL debut in Round 3, has played five matches this season and is averaging 16 possessions each week. A strong ball winner, Jake is most influential at stoppages.
Essendon Coach, Matthew Knights, said he has been impressed with Jake’s attitude and desire to improve.
“Jake’s consistency has been really pleasing – whether it is while he is selected for Essendon or Bendigo,” Knights said.
“He has also demonstrated a capacity to play in front of big crowds and still maintain his composure under pressure which is a great sign for any young footballer.
“We made a conscious effort to bring in some good young midfield talent in the last draft and it has been great to see Jake and Travis Colyer get a chance to experience AFL football so early in their career.”
Following a best on-ground performance for Calder in the TAC Cup Grand Final, the Bombers chose the highly skilled midfielder with their first-round pick in last year’s NAB AFL Draft.
The AIS-AFL Academy graduate represented VIC Metro at the 2009 AFL Under 18 Championships, averaging 18 possessions per match and ranking second overall for Vic Metro for score assists and for clearances (behind only Tom Scully).
Jake was recruited from the Oak Park junior Football Club in the Essendon Football League and from Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School.
Following each round of the home and away season, a panel of judges will select a NAB AFL Rising Star nominee. At the completion of the season, one of these nominees will be chosen as the 2010 NAB AFL Rising Star.
The 2010 NAB AFL Rising Star will receive a personal investment folio and a dedicated personal banker, courtesy of NAB.
NAB will recognise the junior clubs that helped foster the early careers of the nominated players. Each of the 22 clubs will receive a NAB Club Recognition Award, a package of practical and financial resources designed to assist them in developing future champions.
The NAB AFL Rising Star is the pinnacle of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL.