THE STARS are brightly shining.
And no, it’s not just because it’s Christmas time.
It’s because 2020 was the year three young Blues captured the attention of the football community with their poise, performance and flair on the field.
While the 2020 NAB AFLW Rising Star would ultimately belong to Western Bulldog’s Isabel Huntington, that didn’t stop the Game Changers from making an impact on the competition.
The trio of Lucy McEvoy, Grace Egan and Charlotte Wilson were all recognised for their individual brilliance over the year.
A Rising Star nomination in your debut game? That’s not bad at all.
Expectations were high for McEvoy in her debut year after she joined the Blues with Pick No.2 in the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft.
The 19 year old proved she was up for the challenge when she ran out onto the field in front of a packed Ikon Park for her first game.
The former Geelong Falcon impressed in the midfield and up forward for the Blues, finishing the night with 12 disposals, five marks and four tackles.
If the big win over the Tigers wasn’t enough to bring a smile to McEvoy’s face, her nomination for the Rising Star sure would have as the team shared in her excitement when finding out the news.
McEvoy would go on to feature in the remainder of the Blues’ games for the season, averaging 13 disposals, four tackles and two clearances per game.
After missing out on being drafted in 2018 and spending time playing with Richmond VFLW, Egan was keen to make her mark in her debut year with the Blues.
It didn’t take long for Egan to make an impact, with the midfielder’s strength and toughness around the contest adding an important piece to Carlton's midfield group.
In just her fourth appearance in the Navy Blue, the 20 year old had a game to remember in Carlton’s come-from-behind victory against Adelaide.
'Greg' was a star in the midfield, collecting 18 possessions (including seven contested), taking six marks and laying four tackles.
It was just one of Egan’s highlights in a year where she would go onto average 14 disposals, three clearances and four tackles, as well as win Carlton's Best First-Year Player award at season's end.
Rounding out trio of nominations was young defender Charlotte Wilson.
After making her debut during the 2019 season, Wilson was quickly able to cement her position as part of the Blues’ rock-solid defensive mix.
The 19 year old took a massive step forward in her development in 2020, with her strength and reliance down back only matched by her impressive ability to read the play and shutdown opposition forwards on a weekly basis.
After narrowly missing out on a nomination against the Crows in Round 4, Wilson’s efforts were finally recognised against the Saints in Round 5.
Wilson collected 12 disposals and took eight marks as the Blues powered to a 21-point win over the Saints.
With Wilson’s nomination, the Blues registered their third NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination for the season – the first time in the competition’s history that the Club had managed this feat.