Noah Cumberland has been named the Round 20 NAB Rising Star nominee.
Cumberland kicked a game-high five goals on Sunday, leading Richmond to a come-from-behind victory against the Brisbane Lions.
The young forward was a shining light for the Tigers, kicking the club’s first three goals of the match.
His last two were spectacular: a Goal of the Year contender then a 50-meter goal to bring the margin within five points.
With less than a minute left, Cumberland smothered Daniel McStay’s kick, causing a turnover that lead to the match-sealing Tom Lynch goal and kept Richmond’s finals hopes alive.
Senior coach Damian Hardwick was impressed with the 21-year-old’s performance.
“That first goal he kicked where I think he ran through three players, I thought he was Leigh Matthews there for a minute bursting through the pack,” Hardwick said.
“[Cumberland] has been incredible since he’s come in. He came in a little bit raw, he’s put the work in, he’s self-driven, he’s responsible for his own development of him and that to me is the mark of him as a player.
“He was always a beast of a player, athletic traits, but probably like most Queensland kids a little bit slow in the general footy IQ stuff, but he has worked incredibly hard on that part of the game.
“He’s diligent, he’s got his notepad, he does the work, he watches tape and he just loves it.”
Cumberland has played five AFL games and kicked 11 goals, including a three-goal haul against North Melbourne in Round 18.
He’s averaging 2.2 goals, 5.4 score involvements and 2.8 tackles per game.
Cumberland was drafted through the Brisbane Lions Academy with the 43rd pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.
He played his junior football at Maroochydore Junior Australian Football Club in the South East Queensland Juniors (SEQJ).
Returning from a ruptured ACL in his maiden season, Cumberland excited fans in the VFL in 2021 – highlighted with a five-goal 20 disposals performance against Collingwood.
Cumberland was delisted at the end of the 2021 Toyota Premiership Season, but was reinstated a month later via the 2022 Rookie Draft.
He made his debut in Round 11 this year against the Sydney Swans.