West Coast midfielder Reuben Ginbey earns Rising Star nomination

Strong-bodied West Coast midfielder Reuben Ginbey has earnt the round 3 AFL Rising Star nomination with his impressive performance in the Western Derby.

The 19-year-old is the first Eagle to be nominated for the award in the past four seasons in a sign green shoots are finally beginning to emerge at the struggling club.

Ginbey is West Coast’s first Rising Star nominee since key forward Oscar Allen was recognised in round 21, 2019, with the powerfully built left-footer a standout among the 2022 draft class on the weekend.

He is likely to be followed to a nomination by at least two more Eagles teammates this season, with Noah Long and Elijah Hewett both having impressive moments in the opening games.

Taken with pick nine by the Eagles last year, Ginbey was an important support act for Tim Kelly in the midfield as West Coast matched it with Fremantle until three-quarter time despite half a dozen separate injury concerns.

Ginbey had 20 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances as he was forced to spend 87 per cent of the game on the ground due to the injury crisis, which left the Eagles without a bench in the final quarter.

The 191cm on-baller leads the AFL for tackles with 26 after round 3 and is averaging 17 disposals, two marks and three clearances per game.

Ginbey played junior football at the Dunsborough Sharks, three hours south of Perth on the coast, before he impressed last season in the East Perth WAFL side initially as a rebounding defender before moving into the midfield.

The Eagles gun follows other top-10 picks Harry Sheezel (round 1) and Will Ashcroft (round 2) as the Rising Star nominations this season.