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2008 PRE Player of the Year ( vsHawks starts on Page 88)

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PRE Player of the Year 2008
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20

Cleve Hughes (34)

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Total Votes 78 (65)
Rounds Played 6 (7)
2007 Position 22 (+2)
Average Votes/Rounds 13.0
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 17 (13-14)
Best Round (Votes) 13 vs Port Adelaide (77)
Normalised Score (Rank) 1.034 (22)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 1 (=17)
Most Votes From evo (4)

The Steamer only managed 6 games in 2008, but he was certainly noticed by the PRE voters, especially for his display against Port Adelaide in round 13. Cleve needs to work on his forward presence, but he has a good set of mitts and is a beautiful set shot for goal. A lot of Richmond’s future success could hinge on how well Steamer performs (along with JR perhaps) in the post-Richardson era.
 

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19

Matthew White (35)

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Total Votes 83 (18)
Rounds Played 20 (7)
2007 Position 29 (+10)
Average Votes/Rounds 4.2
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 14 (5,9-10)
Best Round (Votes) 5 vs Western Bulldogs (20)
Normalised Score (Rank) 1.643 (17)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From Fighting Fury ( 8 )

It looks like the hard work that Matt White has clearly put into his game is starting to pay dividends. After earning his spot in the senior side he never looked back, displaying pace, strength and a willingness to back himself. Perhaps not the most naturally gifted player, it is clear that Matty will work hard to get the most out of himself, in a similar manner to Foley. I can certainly see him becoming a fan favourite over the coming seasons.
 

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18

Luke McGuane (16)

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Total Votes 84 (112)
Rounds Played 16 (14)
2007 Position 18 (-)
Average Votes/Rounds 5.3
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 18 (22)
Best Round (Votes) 20 vs Hawthorn and 22 vs Melbourne (23)
Normalised Score (Rank) 1.611 (18)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From Tigermad2005 (10)

The Flying Pencil made up one third of the new-look defense for the Tigers in 2008. I have to admit to being a bit sceptical of Luke’s long term chances as an AFL defender, but I am more than happy to be proven wrong. Luke is one of the braver and more aggressive players in our side and you know he isn’t going to shirk the issue if confronted. Let’s hope our defense continues to develop and Luke can play an integral role in that structure.
 

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17

Jack Riewoldt ( 8 )

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Total Votes 105 (19)
Rounds Played 18 ( 8 )
2007 Position 28 (+11)
Average Votes/Rounds 5.8
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 17 (15-22)
Best Round (Votes) 15 vs West Coast (101)
Normalised Score (Rank) 1.322 (20)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (=12)
Most Votes From robdog (4)

Jack continued his development as an AFL forward with 18 games for a return of 25 goals in 2008. His enthusiasm and vocal leadership are clear when he is out on the field. There is no questioning that Jack loves the game and will be an onfield leader in no time. He earned himself a Rising Star nomination after a great game against the Weagles in round 15. I look forward to watching Jack’s further development in the coming seasons. He is going to be an important part of the forward line in the future.
 

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16

Jay Schulz (25)

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Total Votes 155 (54)
Rounds Played 18 (12)
2007 Position 23 (+7)
Average Votes/Rounds 8.6
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 3 (2)
Best Round (Votes) 2 vs North Melbourne (119)
Normalised Score (Rank) 1.965 (16)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (=12)
Most Votes From gold1 (10)

I think 2008 was another season that Jay really didn’t stamp his authority on. IMO Jay had a better season than 2007, but it appears that he is not a favourite with the selection committee and he has had to play roles both forward and back throughout the season. In light of this it wouldn’t surprise me if Jay is shopped around during the next trading period. However he was required in 18 matches this season and we may miss his size, at least until some of the younger brigade are a bit older and bigger.
 

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15

Will Thursfield (2)

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Total Votes 168 (232)
Rounds Played 18 (15)
2007 Position 9 (-6)
Average Votes/Rounds 9.3
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 4 (1)
Best Round (Votes) 2 vs North Melbourne (66)
Normalised Score (Rank) 2.511 (15)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (=12)
Most Votes From Streak ( 8 )

Willy T had an up and down year, with some very good defensive jobs while appearing to struggle at other times. It appears that Kelvin Moore has taken the mantle of the number 1 defender in the Tiger backline, but this probably a bonus for Willy T and Richmond as a team. It gives Terry Wallace more flexibility with how Willy is used in defense and allows him to play more as the 2nd or 3rd tall forward, which he would appear to be more suited to. Overall, I am personally quite happy with the progress of Will and think he has a bright future as a defender in the Richmond backline.
 

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14

Jordan McMahon (13)

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Total Votes 206 (NEW)
Rounds Played 22 (NEW)
2007 Position NEW
Average Votes/Rounds 9.4
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 9 (9)
Best Round (Votes) 9 vs Essendon (76)
Normalised Score (Rank) 2.825 (14)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 1 (=17)
Most Votes From YinnarTiger (9)

The much maligned Jordan McMahon had a mixed season, some great play characterised by run and deliver off the half back line mixed in with some less than perfect play. Overall I personally think Jordan does contribute to the team and unlike what some might say on PRE I personally think he does display G&D and is definitely not a downhill skier. If he can eliminate the bad games from his repertoire then he could become an extremely valuable playmaker for the Tigers going forward.
 

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13

Trent Cotchin (9)

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Total Votes 247 (NEW)
Rounds Played 15 (NEW)
2007 Position NEW
Average Votes/Rounds 16.5
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 8 (15)
Best Round (Votes) 14 vs Carlton (76)
Normalised Score (Rank) 4.596 (7)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (=12)
Most Votes From robdog (13)

Well what can one say about ol’ Chimp Kazoo that hasn’t been posted a thousand times here on PRE. I have never been as excited about a first year player, ever. He appears to be the full package, poise, footy smarts, toughness, skills on both sides, natural leader etc etc. A 13th place finish for Cotch after the late start to the season is a great finish and when you take into account his average votes per round it puts in somewhere between Simmonds and Bowden, not a bad rap for an 18 year old kid without a pre-season under his belt. Along with Deledio and Foley, Cotchin is really starting to form the nucleus of a very classy midfield.
 

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12

Kelvin Moore (40)

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Total Votes 267 (3)
Rounds Played 22 (7)
2007 Position 31 (+19)
Average Votes/Rounds 12.1
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 7 (3)
Best Round (Votes) 14 vs Carlton (76)
Normalised Score (Rank) 4.353 ( 8 )
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 5 (=9)
Most Votes From Panthera tigris FC, Fighting Fury, emerald, CptJonno2Madcow2005 (10)

Another member of the rising Blood-nut Brigade of Richmond and clearly the Tigers’ most improved player of 2008. Everything seems to have ‘clicked’ for Kel this season as he well and truly took over the mantle of the #1 defender for the Tigers. He was given some big tasks this season, including Buddy twice, and I don’t recall him have his colours lowered once. It seems in the cases of Moore a bit of persistence and time to recover from early injuries has paid off.
 

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11

Richard Tambling (30)

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Total Votes 312 (221)
Rounds Played 22 (20)
2007 Position 11 (-)
Average Votes/Rounds 14.2
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 7 (18)
Best Round (Votes) 17 vs Brisbane (133)
Normalised Score (Rank) 4.321 (9)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 4 (11)
Most Votes From MalenyTiger (12)

Bling continued his development as an AFL football player and as he has throughout his short career to date improved in most, if not all, facets of his game. Towards the end of 2008 there was a string of 3 games where Richie played easily the best footy I have seen him play, winning a lot of ball and backing himself and using his pace to break the lines. I guess he’ll always have the ‘Buddy issue’, but I personally think he is travelling along quite well and has a lot to offer the RFC.
 

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10

Kane Johnson (17)

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Total Votes 314 (174)
Rounds Played 18 (22)
2007 Position 14 (+4)
Average Votes/Rounds 17.4
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 3 (4-8)
Best Round (Votes) 4 vs Fremantle (153)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.164 (13)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 5 (=9)
Most Votes From Tigermad2005 (15)

2008 proved to be an improved season for the captain as he made an important contribution winning the hard ball in the centre for the Tigers. I still think that Kane needs to look forwards before backwards or sideways as he tends to do, but his onfield leadership and maturity on the field are extremely valuable to the young Tiger line up. It will be interesting to see whether Kane retains the #17 in 2009 or chooses to approach his retirement without the captaincy.
 

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9

Troy Simmonds (5)

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Total Votes 322 ( 8 )
Rounds Played 22 (10)
2007 Position 30 (+21)
Average Votes/Rounds 14.6
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 4 (7)
Best Round (Votes) 7 vs St Kilda (137)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.932 (11)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (=12)
Most Votes From Streak (15)

I don’t think you can understate the difference that a fit Troy Simmonds makes to the Tigers’ performances. I think the biggest factor in determining the difference between the 3.5 wins of 2007 and the 11.5 of 2008 was a fit and firing Simmonds for 22 matches. Having said that a succession plan for the retirement of Troy in the next few seasons seems to be a somewhat neglected priority for the Tigers. Hopefully Troy can maintain fitness and form until we have an able replacement for him.
 

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8

Joel Bowden (11)
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Total Votes 346 (453)
Rounds Played 18 (22)
2007 Position 5 (-3)
Average Votes/Rounds 19.2
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 8 (22)
Best Round (Votes) 13 vs Port Adelaide (166)
Normalised Score (Rank) 4.153 (10)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 7 (=6)
Most Votes From YinnarTiger (11)

After an indifferent start to 2008 that led to Joel’s demotion to Coburg and speculation about his future he came back to the senior side in the best possible fashion. Singlehandedly responsible for acts that won matches against Port Adelaide, Essendon and Brisbane, Joel proved himself a crunch player, capable of playing brave, smart footy when the game is on the line. The second half of the season also saw Joel swinging back and forth between the backline where he is a former All Australian and the forward line where he played well as a lead up forward.
 

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7

Nathan Brown (7)

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Total Votes 377 (171)
Rounds Played 18 (11)
2007 Position 15 (+8)
Average Votes/Rounds 20.9
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 5 (16-18)
Best Round (Votes) 11 vs Adelaide (104)
Normalised Score (Rank) 5.142 (6)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 7 (=6)
Most Votes From mk33 (15)

Although he lacks some of the pre-injury spark, Nathan Brown demonstrated in 2008 that he still has that innate goal sense and ability to win a game off his own boot. It appears that he is struggling with a new injury that saw his season end early, but hopefully he will recover quickly and be able to put in a full pre-season prior to the 2009 season.
 

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6

Chris Newman (1)
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Total Votes 411 (367)
Rounds Played 22 (22)
2007 Position 7 (+1)
Average Votes/Rounds 18.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 3 (3)
Best Round (Votes) 2 vs North Melbourne (95)
Normalised Score (Rank) 5.669 (5)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 8 (5)
Most Votes From ronnit (24)

Newman backed up a solid 2007 with another 22 games in 2008. He provided a lot of run out of defence and is probably our toughest defender at the present. His booming torp is a potent weapon, both in attack and out of defence and enabled us to kick over the rolling zone of Hawthorn when we couldn’t get around it. He still represents one of the truly mature-bodied players at Richmond, but that should change over the next couple of seasons as some the younger brigade start to come of age.
 

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5

Jake King (46)

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Total Votes 449 (383)
Rounds Played 14 (19)
2007 Position 6 (+1)
Average Votes/Rounds 32.1
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 1 (1-4)
Best Round (Votes) 1 vs Carlton (262)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.837 (12)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 6 ( 8 )
Most Votes From Jason King, Fighting Fury (11)

It was a strange season for Jake King. After starting on fire with a best on ground performance against the Blues in round 1 and continuing to play solid, tough footy during the early rounds, it all fell away quite quickly. It seemed to be a combination of his form waning after received a lot of media attention combined with opposition coaches exploiting his defensive weaknesses. It is hard to know what will happen to Jake after this season, which is ironic considering his high finish in the PRE Player of the Year Awards. A point of note is his normalised figures which reveal that his high finish had a lot to do with the larger number of voters earlier on in the season, compared to later.
 

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4

Nathan Foley (41)

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Total Votes 625 (1595)
Rounds Played 21 (22)
2007 Position 1 (-3)
Average Votes/Rounds 29.8
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 3 (1, 16-20)
Best Round (Votes) 9 vs Essendon (160)
Normalised Score (Rank) 6.804
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 10 (4)
Most Votes From verdonp (15)

The winner of the 2007 PRE Player of the Year Award had to deal with a heavy tag for every game he played in 2008. This didn’t stop Axel playing some solid footy and providing run through the midfield and ultimately will make him a more complete footy player. He still managed a top 4 finish this year and with the rise of Deledio, Cotchin and Tambling supported by the hard nut Tucky a formidable and pacy midfield is starting to take shape. Foley’s year was topped off with selection in the Victorian team in which he starred amongst some better known teammates.
 

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3

Shane Tuck (21)

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Total Votes 744 (187)
Rounds Played 22 (22)
2007 Position 13 (+10)
Average Votes/Rounds 33.8
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 3 (21-22)
Best Round (Votes) 21 vs Fremantle (161)
Normalised Score (Rank) 8.882 (3)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 14 (3)
Most Votes From willo (22)

After an indifferent first half of the season Tucky exploded, becoming arguably one of the top 5 midfielders in the competition. He consistently did the grunt work in the midfield, always at the bottom of the packs, extracting the hard ball for our runners. When he is on song it a beautiful thing to behold, and crucial to our onfield success. The PRE voters duly recognised this contribution as he snuck into the top 3 late in the season.
 

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2

Brett Deledio (3)

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Total Votes 1269 (724)
Rounds Played 22 (19)
2007 Position =2 (-)
Average Votes/Rounds 57.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 2 (10-22)
Best Round (Votes) 12 vs Melbourne (168)
Normalised Score (Rank) 15.158 (1)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 26 (1)
Most Votes From AstuteTiger (43)

Brett Deledio graduated from promising young footballer to an elite player in 2008. Lids consistently backed himself, demonstrated elite skills and pace and his overhead marking is second only to Richo in the side at the moment. Some of the marks he latched onto in round 22 vs Melbourne were awesome. His consistency this season was probably the most noteworthy aspect of the year, where he consistently polled well in the PRE Player of the Year Awards. Even after the eventual winner flew away to a massive lead by mid-season, Lids slowly crept back and was only beaten by the slenderest of margins. In fact, looking at both the normalised score and Brownlow score reveals that Lids would have won by those criteria. Overall, an excellent season for Deledio. Let’s see if he can go one better in 2009.