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2012 PREmier Fighting Tiger Award- THE AWARDS THREAD

Panthera tigris FC

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=26

Matthew White (35)

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Total Games For Richmond 89
Total Votes 6 (38)
Rounds Played 7 (12)
Historic Position ’07:29 ’08:19 ’09:11 ’10:21 ’11:19
Average Votes/Rounds 0.9
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 26 (15-23)
Best Round (Votes) 15 & 21 vs Melbourne & Fremantle (3)
Normalised Score (Rank) 0.227 (26)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From tigertrue (3)

A quick look at Matty White’s finishes in this award over the last 5 years gives a pretty accurate snapshot of his role in the senior side. His peak of an 11th place finish in 2009 to his current 26th placing reveals his shift from starter to depth player as the talent around him in the side has improved. I still feel that the depth that White brings to the midfield is important, despite his limitations and his attitude and determination to get the best out of himself should see him hold his spot for the Tigers in 2013.

Brad Miller (13)

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Total Games For Richmond 24
Total Votes 6 (49)
Rounds Played 10 (14)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:17
Average Votes/Rounds 0.6
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 11 (2)
Best Round (Votes) 2 vs Collingwood (6)
Normalised Score (Rank) 0.121 (27)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From PBoRSM (3)

Another Melbourne cast off that was picked up by the Tigers to provide some leadership in the forward 50, Brad Miller managed just 10 games in 2012 to go with his 14 in 2011. Outside of his 4 goal haul against the Pies in round 2, Brad had a reasonably forgettable season. It was obvious in his 2 years at the Tigers that he was playing a selfless role in the forward line, leading in areas that would clear space for the other forwards. I hope that his leadership and the guidance he provided to the young Tiger forwards will serve them well in the coming years. Miller announced his retirement towards the end of 2012 in a move that was not completely unexpected.
 

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Ben Griffiths (24)

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Total Games For Richmond 18
Total Votes 7 (17)
Rounds Played 9 (4)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:DNP ’11:25
Average Votes/Rounds 0.8
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 21 (14)
Best Round (Votes) 14 vs Adelaide (6)
Normalised Score (Rank) 0.236 (25)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From evo, Gunsmoke & PBoRSM (2)

One of the highlights of 2012 for me was the Ben Griffiths kick out from full back that cleared the Hawthorn zone defence and resulted in a goal. That moment was one of the catalysts for our best victories of the season against the eventual Grand Finalists. Ben played out 2012 as a (very) tall defender and managed to double his career tally of games from 9 to 18. However, he still struggled with injury throughout the year, although thankfully the shoulders that troubled him in previous years held up for the year. Ben moves well on the field and is tidy by foot, especially considering his size. His ability to effortlessly roost the ball 60m off a step is a wonder to behold and a real weapon against the zone defences. He still needs to impact games more, but his continued physical development and potentially a switch to the forward line at some stage will hopefully provide the Tigers with another big target.
 

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24

Jayden Post (37)

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Total Games For Richmond 30
Total Votes 8 (1)
Rounds Played 8 (8)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:31 ’10:DNP ’11:28
Average Votes/Rounds 1.0
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 24 (21-23)
Best Round (Votes) 21 vs Fremantle (5)
Normalised Score (Rank) 0.324 (24)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From evo (2)

After 4 years on the Richmond list the Post-man is still struggling to nail down a regular position in the senior side. After appearing in round 1, Post only managed a total of 8 games for the season, the same number as in 2011. To his credit, he did manage to string some acceptable games together at the end of the season, but as he enters in 5th year on the list in 2013 he is really going to have to show more than the occasional good set of mitts. It appears to me that most of his problems are confidence-based, but that makes him a real liability when he disposes of the ball in defence. There is certainly a need for a commanding, tall defender in the Richmond line up and if Post is to survive on the list he is going to have to show that he is capable of taking up that mantle very soon.
 

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23

Luke McGuane (16)

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Total Games For Richmond 93
Total Votes 13 (16)
Rounds Played 9 (14)
Historic Position ’07:18 ’08:18 ’09:13 ’10:20 ’11:27
Average Votes/Rounds 1.4
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 20 (15)
Best Round (Votes) 15 vs Melbourne (12)
Normalised Score (Rank) 0.391 (23)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From tigerdave & tigertrue (2)

After being discarded from the side in 2011 after numerous seasons playing as a defender in the Tiger’s backline, things looked grim for Luke’s future at the club. Although his endeavour and aggression couldn’t be questioned, his habit of giving up silly free kicks and easy goals had made him more damaging than useful for the side. Interestingly, he started 2012 playing as a forward for Coburg and when he finally was reinstated to the seniors, it was as a re-invented forward, his old role as a junior. His 9 games in this role this season covered the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous, with the latter typified by two comically blown goal chances that only Luke could have achieved. However, there were also moments where he took some great grabs, snapped some crucial goals and was productive a forward foil to Jack Riewoldt. It looks like Luke’s tenure at the Tigers isn’t over and he will be retained as a depth forward in 2013.
 

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22

Matt Dea (7)

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Total Games For Richmond 21
Total Votes 15 (1)
Rounds Played 14 (4)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:DNP ’11:28
Average Votes/Rounds 1.1
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 17 (11)
Best Round (Votes) 11 vs Fremantle (11)
Normalised Score (Rank) 0.399 (22)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From Eat the rich & MB78 (2)

Matty Dea had a mixed year as he continued his development in his 3rd year on the list. At times his natural athleticism shone out and he looked like an AFL defender, providing good run and carry and at other times he appeared to struggle reading the play and impacting the contest. What is clear is that his 2012 was an improvement on his 2011 and the fact that he managed to play 14 matches will be good for his development. He will need to show further improvement if he is to play a role in the Tiger defence in 2013 and beyond, but he does appear to have the stature and physicality to make the transition to a regular in the Tiger’s line up.
 

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21

Daniel Jackson (23)

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Total Games For Richmond 123
Total Votes 17 (141)
Rounds Played 19 (21)
Historic Position ’07:16 ’08:21 ’09:3 ’10:9 ’11:13
Average Votes/Rounds 0.9
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 18 (11 & 14)
Best Round (Votes) 11 & 14 vs Fremantle & Adelaide (5)
Normalised Score (Rank) 0.504 (21)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From Ricky Steamboat (3)

Although Daniel Jackson managed to play 19 games this season, it turned out to be his worst placing in these awards since 2008 and a far cry from his top 10 finishes in 2009-10. Dan played his best footy this season as a defensive half-forward flanker away from his traditional roles in the midfield and as a tagger. When he was used as a tagger this season he did the job well, including a blanketing role against Jobe Watson at the end of the season. Even so, 17 votes from 19 games reveal that his impact was limited and not really recognised by the PRE voting crowd. As a member of the leadership group he really needs to be a more consistent performer and to continue to work within his limitations as his occasional clangers can be real momentum killers for the side.
 

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20

Daniel Connors (19)

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Total Games For Richmond 29
Total Votes 20 (0)
Rounds Played 2 (3)
Historic Position ’07:21 ’08:28 ’09:DNP ’10:7 ’11:DNP
Average Votes/Rounds 10.0
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 17 (12-14)
Best Round (Votes) 12 vs Greater Western Sydney (20)
Normalised Score (Rank) 0.551 (20)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From vernissage (3)

There is not much more to say about Dan Connors than was reported widely in the media in the middle of the 2012 season. The fact that he managed 29 games in his years with the Tigers, especially considering his obvious talent says it all. His inability to maintain the discipline required of an AFL player led to his disrupted career with Richmond and some of the darker moments in recent seasons. Ultimately this ill discipline led to his mid-season dismissal from the club and delisting after entering 2012 on probation. As I said, Dan is obviously a talented footy player and it’s a shame that he couldn’t get it together to forge a solid career with the Tigers.
 

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19

Chris Newman (17)

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Total Games For Richmond 214
Total Votes 42 (151)
Rounds Played 22 (17)
Historic Position ’07:7 ’08:6 ’09:19 ’10:3 ’11:12
Average Votes/Rounds 1.9
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 14 (2)
Best Round (Votes) 22 vs Essendon (11)
Normalised Score (Rank) 1.056 (19)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From vernissage (6)

In what could probably be described as a solid, but not spectacular, season, the skipper of Richmond toiled away to play all 22 matches this season, but really failed to have the impact he has had in recent years. I am not sure if he has slowed a bit, but he appeared to struggle from time to time. He still appeared to be an obvious leader on the field, but his decision to relinquish the captaincy at the end of the season looks like it was the right one to allow him to focus on his game as a veteran of the squad in the coming years. I still think he has plenty to offer the side with his experience and I certainly hope that the team can make a finals appearance in 2013 so that Chris can shake off the unwelcome record of most appearances without a finals game.
 

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18

Jake Batchelor (11)

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Total Games For Richmond 30
Total Votes 50 (110)
Rounds Played 14 (16)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:14
Average Votes/Rounds 3.6
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 8 (2)
Best Round (Votes) 5 vs West Coast (24)
Normalised Score (Rank) 1.113 (18)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 0 (n/a)
Most Votes From martyshire (5)

After an outstanding debut season in 2011 Jake Batchelor had a mild dose of the second year blues. Although he still showed plenty of signs that were so exciting last year, including his natural defensive nature, his athleticism and his determination, there were times when he struggled in defence. He managed to add 14 more games to the 16 he played in 2011 and I am sure that he will be back better than ever in 2013 as an important player off the half back line for the Tigers.
 

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17

Brandon Ellis (42)

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Total Games For Richmond 21
Total Votes 54 (n/a)
Rounds Played 21 (n/a)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:NOL
Average Votes/Rounds 2.6
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 15 (17-20)
Best Round (Votes) 16 vs Gold Coast (26)
Normalised Score (Rank) 1.805 (17)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 1 (15)
Most Votes From arlobill & Baloo (4)

I don’t think we could have asked for a much better debut season for our first pick in the 2011 National Draft. Brandon only missed a single match for the entire season and was a solid contributor in most of those matches. Although he did appear to slow down towards the end of the season the effort to continue to hit the packs hard and run hard to provide options was a great sign for such a young player. A Rising Star nomination seemed inevitable and he was eventually recognised as one of the stand out young players in the league. As he goes through some pre-seasons and develops his tank and strength, I can see him becoming a stalwart in the Tiger’s midfield for many years to come.
 

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16

Jake King (28)

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Total Games For Richmond 87
Total Votes 62 (42)
Rounds Played 12 (19)
Historic Position ’07:6 ’08:5 ’09:16 ’10:13 ’11:18
Average Votes/Rounds 5.2
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 15 (21)
Best Round (Votes) 21 vs Fremantle (40)
Normalised Score (Rank) 2.389 (16)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 1 (15)
Most Votes From Jukes Extended (8)

Although suspension and injury heavily impacted King’s season, his appearances were still influential as he has grown into an on-field leader. His statistical talisman effect on the team’s fortunes was discussed on the forum quite a bit and although it is probably just a statistical anomaly, it is an interesting observation nonetheless. It is quite interesting to look back on King’s rise from a small, combative defender that was a regular whipping boy for the critics to a small, combative forward that is an obvious leader at the Tigers, applies constant forward pressure and is generally a good kick for goal (an attribute that seemed to escape most of our forwards this year). Hopefully, Jake can get his body right and make a greater impact in 2013.
 

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15

Bachar Houli (14)

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Total Games For Richmond 44
Total Votes 126 (564)
Rounds Played 22 (22)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:6
Average Votes/Rounds 5.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 10 (1)
Best Round (Votes) 23 vs Port Adelaide (60)
Normalised Score (Rank) 4.128 (13)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (11)
Most Votes From MalenyTiger (7)

Since coming over from Essendon prior to the 2011 season, Bachar Houli has played all 44 matches for the Tigers. His debut season with Richmond resulted in a 6th place finish in this award, a feat that he wasn’t able to backup in 2012. Although he did play every match this year, his impact was diminished in comparison to 2011. There were a few incidents that were a bit of a throwback to some of the criticisms of him when we picked him up. To his credit though he staged a late season rally and featured amongst the Tiger’s best in the last couple of matches of the season. Hopefully he can take that momentum in 2013 as his run and long, penetrating kicks to our forwards is such a crucial part of our game plan.
 

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14

Robin Nahas (26)

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Total Games For Richmond 77
Total Votes 139 (908)
Rounds Played 22 (22)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:8 ’10:14 ’11:3
Average Votes/Rounds 6.3
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 9 (6)
Best Round (Votes) 6 vs Port Adelaide (68)
Normalised Score (Rank) 2.979 (15)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 1 (15)
Most Votes From PBoRSM (7)

Although this result for Robbie Nahas appears to reflect a far worse season than last year where he finished in 3rd position in this award, it is actually more of a reflection of his different role. In 2011 Nahas played as a small forward, but had lots of rotations through the midfield where his pace allowed him to break the lines in an eye-catching fashion. With Jake King’s injury-plagued season, Nahas spent much more time in the forward line, preventing him from racking up the possession numbers that we saw last season. However, the greater time as a forward meant more goals and Nahas’ 34 goals for the season saw him finish second at the club behind the Coleman medallist Jack. I think that Nahas’ best role was the one we saw in 2011 and hopefully a fit Jake King will allow him more time to rotate through the midfield in 2013.
 

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13

Reece Conca (30)

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Total Games For Richmond 35
Total Votes 175 (77)
Rounds Played 18 (17)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:15
Average Votes/Rounds 9.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 6 (3)
Best Round (Votes) 3 vs Melbourne (113)
Normalised Score (Rank) 4.014 (14)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 2 (14)
Most Votes From evo (8)

Reece Conca continued his development in the Tiger midfield in 2012. Although the topic of considerable debate on the forums Conca has already shown glimpses of what he can become as a genuine midfielder with one of the most valuable commodities for a midfielder, the ability to find time and space. Although far from the finished product, I really like the signs I have seen from Conca in his first couple of years at the club and look forward to seeing him as solid midfielder for the Tigers in the future. Although his season finished prematurely with an injury, let’s hope he can put in a full preseason in 2013 and continue his development in the senior side.
 

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12

Dustin Martin (4)

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Total Games For Richmond 63
Total Votes 180 (909)
Rounds Played 20 (22)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:5 ’11:2
Average Votes/Rounds 9.0
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 8 (1)
Best Round (Votes) 14 vs Adelaide (67)
Normalised Score (Rank) 5.511 (11)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (11)
Most Votes From tigertrue (13)

After a fifth place finish in his debut season of 2010 and as runner up last year in this award, 2012 would have to be considered a disappointment for Dusty Martin. Although he still showed signs of his strength and had patches of dominance throughout the season, his form was too inconsistent and he still needs to work on his tank so that he can impact matches more regularly. Having said that, I think the hype on Dusty is justified and the glimpses he did show continue to astound. For a player in his 3rd season the pressure and expectation are hard to imagine, but Dusty strikes me as the type that doesn’t sweat this sort of thing. I would not be surprised to see him back at his best in 2013, reaching the heights that he has shown he is capable of. His (missed) wake-up call in the form of a suspension this season may have seemed a bit harsh when it happened, but I believe it is a sign that this club is united and the incident will benefit Dusty in the long term.
 

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11

Dylan Grimes (2)

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Total Games For Richmond 17
Total Votes 240 (26)
Rounds Played 9 (7)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:34 ’11:21
Average Votes/Rounds 26.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 7 (7-8)
Best Round (Votes) 7 vs Sydney (145)
Normalised Score (Rank) 5.338 (12)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (11)
Most Votes From happytige, Tiges67, ToraToraTora & TuesdayswithTerry (7)

After his 21st place finish last season, I said in my report that for a player with only 8 games under his belt there was a lot of buzz around Dylan Grimes. His performances in 2012 justified that excitement as he showed that he has all of the makings of a top class defender at AFL level. In fact, his average votes/game would have seen him finish in the top 5 in this award, if he had played out a full season. His ability to read the play, his closing speed and his spoiling ability are all excellent and he showed a new confidence to take the defensive marks more often this year. I can’t think of a defender with only 17 games experience that I would rather have developing on the Tiger’s list. Of course the biggest concern was the premature end to his season with another serious hamstring injury. Let’s hope that Dylan can get over this problem and establish a lengthy career in the Tiger’s defence.
 

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10

Jack Riewoldt (8)

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Total Games For Richmond 112
Total Votes 280 (383)
Rounds Played 22 (22)
Historic Position ’07:28 ’08:17 ’09:9 ’10:1 ’11:8
Average Votes/Rounds 12.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 5 (1)
Best Round (Votes) 10 vs St Kilda (193)
Normalised Score (Rank) 6.516 (10)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 4 (7)
Most Votes From tigertrue (9)

Jack came into the 2012 season after having an ordinary 2011 (by his standards) and numerous off-season operations to fix up a few injury issues. His 2012 was interesting, in that his form was constantly questioned and he often chose to wrestle with his opponent rather than lead up and use his leap to take marks. His goal kicking radar was also not at its 2010 standard, although he wasn’t alone in this category. Given all that and the fact that he finished 10th in this award, it would be easy to think that he had a particularly bad year. In fact he won the Coleman medal for the second time and was clearly Richmond’s number one forward target. The fact that he missed out on All Australian selection suggests that opinions about his form, despite the Coleman medal, were not confined to fans of Richmond. Given his output this year in 65.48, it is easy to see that if he can iron out his goal kicking yips he could greatly improve and be a key player in Richmond’s rise. Some assistance from Vickery and another medium forward could be valuable in this aim.
 

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9

Shane Edwards (10)

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Total Games For Richmond 109
Total Votes 302 (51)
Rounds Played 20 (20)
Historic Position ’07:12 ’08:24 ’09:12 ’10:11 ’11:16
Average Votes/Rounds 15.1
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 9 (20-23)
Best Round (Votes) 11 vs Fremantle (105)
Normalised Score (Rank) 7.992 (7)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 5 (6)
Most Votes From WesternTiger (9)

Shane Edwards came into the 2012 season as one of the more maligned players on the list, primarily due to his inconsistent disposal by foot. Looking at his record in these awards reveals that he has consistently polled, but never really excelled, with his best finish of 11th coming back in 2010. In 2012 Titch managed to silence many of his critics as Dimma moved him into the forward line for stints as a small goalkicker, a role in which he demonstrated a real knack for causing chaos and creating chances from small opportunities. His return of 29.26, making him the 3rd highest goal scorer at the club this season, highlights the fact that he still squanders many opportunities, however many of those opportunities were the product of his ingenuity in tight spaces. Personally, I like the role that Titch is playing in the side and when you combine that with the ability to rotate through the midfield and create openings with his elite handball skills, I think he is an important cog in the Richmond side. His 9th place finish this year is just reward for his output and hopefully he continues to build upon his progress this season.
 

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8

Nathan Foley (41)

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Total Games For Richmond 120
Total Votes 310 (533)
Rounds Played 10 (22)
Historic Position ’07:1 ’08:4 ’09:5 ’10:17 ’11:7
Average Votes/Rounds 31.0
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 3 (1)
Best Round (Votes) 4 vs Geelong (86)
Normalised Score (Rank) 6.823 (8)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 4 (7)
Most Votes From vernissage (10)

After a solid comeback from injury in 2011 wherein Axel Foley managed to play all 22 games, hopes were high for a return to his elite level in 2012. The 2007 winner of this award started very well and was an influential member of the Tigers midfield, showing a turn of speed that wasn’t as apparent in recent years. Unfortunately, Nathan suffered another injury and his season was curtailed at 10 games, a blow for the Tigers as his absence was noticeable. His 8th place finish, considering he played less than half of the season tells the story and hopefully his body is alright and he can return to bolster the Tiger midfield in 2013.