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Player Review: Cam Rayner

Player Review: Cam Rayner See highlights from Cam Rayner's season.

The prestigious honour of being the No. 1 Draft pick comes with plenty of pressure, but in his debut season for the Lions, Cam Rayner did not disappoint.

The former Western Jet's junior had his new Club excited from the get-go, with the Lions extending his contract until 2021 in January this year before having played a game. 

Rayner made his debut in Round 1 and played all 22 Senior matches to follow, kicking 20 goals for the Lions.

The 18-year-old showcased a number of exciting performances in 2018.

In what was a disappointing loss to Richmond in Round 3, Rayner was a shining light, finishing with 22 disposals, four marks and goal to be named Player of the Round by fans.

By the second half of the season, Rayner had made significant growth both physically and skills-wise.

It was only a matter of time until he received a Rising Star nomination and in Round 15, an impressive 19 disposal, six marks and two-goal game secured his nomination. Rayner finished 15th overall for the Rising Star Award in August.


In Round 18 against Adelaide, Rayner gave another indication as to why he was selected first in last year’s draft with a cracking mark over the pack before extending the Lions first quarter lead with a goal. His huge hanger received a nomination for the Round 18 Mark of the Year.

It became evident throughout the season that his teammates instilled a lot of trust in him.

On numerous occasions, he was trusted with tasks not often given to a first-year player. While he stood up on almost every occasion, a wayward shot in the last minute of Round 20 against North Melbourne will sit sourly with Rayner as the Lions eventually went down by three points.

While Chris Fagan, his teammates and fans were quick to get around him, it was a soft reminder that the young jet is only in his first year of Senior football and still has lots to learn. His best is yet to come.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs