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Stringer's star rising

Travis King  August 11, 2014 7:25 PM

Stringer's Rising Star Highlights Reel Watch highlights of Round 20 NAB Rising Star nominee Jake Stringer's impressive start to his AFL career.
Following his four goal performance against the Saints, Jake Stringer is the Round 20 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

Following his four goal performance against the Saints, Jake Stringer is the Round 20 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

JAKE Stringer has received the recognition the AFL world has been clamouring for, with the Western Bulldogs forward named the round 20 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

Stringer continued his outstanding form at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, booting a match-winning four goals against St Kilda only two weeks after he bagged a career best five-goal haul against the Bombers. 

It seemed only a matter of time until the 20-year-old earned a Rising Star gong, with the good news delivered at recovery on Monday.

"It's nice to get some recognition over the last couple of weeks," Stringer told AFL.com.au.

"It's always nice to get individual accolades but it's mainly more about the team and getting a win every weekend.

"It was just good to hit the scoreboard when we needed to and it's even better to have done it against St Kilda, who were playing for a champion of their club (Lenny Hayes)."

After being dropped to the VFL mid-season, Stringer has bounced back with 16 goals in his past six matches – including 10 in the past three weeks.

The timing of his form spike is remarkable, given his partner Abby is due to give birth on Sunday.

"It's been a bit full-on the last couple of weeks," he said.

"Hopefully the baby comes this week and I can just worry about playing footy on the weekend."

While the arrival of the new family member is sure to turn his world upside down, at least for a while, Stringer is setting himself for a strong finish to 2014.

He wants to continue the development fast-tracked by coach Brendan McCartney, who sent the young pup into defence earlier in the season and then back to the VFL to learn midfield craft.

"The amount of development that had on my game was extraordinary and it just made me such a better footballer for it," said Stringer, who was selected with pick No.5 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.

"I just learnt so much about playing as a forward and learning the aspects of the other roles in defence and in midfield as well.

"I've been put in those situations where I've been feeling uncomfortable, and you always just have in the back of your mind where you would not like to be if you were a defender.

"That's all I try to do - take my defender to places where they don't want to be."

After suffering a horrific broken leg while playing TAC Cup for the Bendigo Pioneers, Stringer said his body was "holding up really well" at the elite level.

Like most Dogs fans, he's excited by what's in store after another pre-season at the Kennel – where he's become the third Rising Star nominee in 2014 after Marcus Bontempelli and Nathan Hrovat.

"Next season should be good," he said. "We just need to knuckle down over pre-season and also make sure we finish off the year on a really strong note over the next three games."