Tom Langdon has hit the ground running after playing every game this season. Image: AFL Media Posted in Front Page News

Round 7 of the AFL season saw South Metro Junior Football League’s second alumni score a Rising Star nomination for season 2014. Tom Langdon joined his teammate from last year’s Sandringham Dragons’ campaign, Josh Kelly, in receiving the honour.

Displaying a penchant for performing in big games early, Langdon was recognised for his efforts in Collingwood’s Round 7 win over Carlton at the MCG in front of a bumper crowd of almost 70,000. The utility picked up 23 disposals and eight marks in a best afield display. 

However, it wasn’t always AFL stardom that beckoned for Kelly who arrived on Collingwood’s list a bit later than he would have wished. At the conclusion of the 2012 TAC Cup season the former Prahran Football Club (before moving to the Glen Iris Gladiators) player nominated for the AFL draft – unfortunately his name was never called.

He went back to his TAC Cup side, the Sandringham Dragons, and was named co-captain as one of the five 19-year olds on the team’s list. Following a successful year at the end of the 2013 season Langdon threw his hat in the draft ring again. 

This time around his perseverance and dedication would be rewarded as Collingwood jumped on the halfback flanker with the 65th pick in last year’s draft.

While the season is still young, Langdon is exhibiting some form that might make some recruiters rue letting him slide for almost two drafts. Through seven games he is averaging 18.6 disposals and almost seven marks a game and of this year’s debutants eligible for the Rising Star he is fourth in possessions per game with everyone who averages more touches having played less games.

It isn’t just his ability to win the ball that is impressive but his poise with ball in hand. Langdon has clearly picked up the fast paced AFL game quickly as his disposal efficiency is well above 70% despite a large portion of his disposals being kicks.

In what was a real bumper year for the club, along with Kelly, Langdon was one of eight boys drafted from Sandringham in last year’s AFL drafts. With two nominations in seven rounds, and several of the other six getting games it could end up being the clubs best draft in some time.