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2013 PREmier Fighting Tiger Award - THE AWARDS!

Panthera tigris FC

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20

Nathan Foley (41)

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Total Games For Richmond 136
Total Votes 90 (310)
Rounds Played 16 (10)
Historic Position ’07:1 ’08:4 ’09:5 ’10:17 ’11:7 ‘12:8
Average Votes/Rounds 5.6
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 17 (15-17)
Best Round (Votes) 15 vs North Melbourne (51)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.620 (17)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (=14)
Most Votes From Baloo & marella jube (5)

2013 was an interesting year for Axel. After managing to recover from his 2012 injury issues, he had a belated start to 2013, but still managed to rack up 16 matches for the Tigers. In the past, that amount of game time has always equated to high finishes for Foley, but he lacked some of his characteristic zip and impact on matches. He also has much better competition for votes in the midfield, with the greatly improved Tiger depth in that area. He was unlucky to miss out on a finals berth, but hopefully he can stay fit and provide that run and explosiveness that was such a trademark of his game in his high finishes in this award in previous years.
 

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19

Chris Knights (15)

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Total Games For Richmond 5
Total Votes 100 (n/a)
Rounds Played 5 (n/a)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:NOL ‘12:NOL
Average Votes/Rounds 20.0
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 8 (5)
Best Round (Votes) 5 vs Fremantle (82)
Normalised Score (Rank) 2.710 (20)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 2 (=16)
Most Votes From evo (6)

Richmond’s offseason acquisition of Chris Knights from Adelaide was met with a mixed response. Knights had struggled to get games at the Crows, but had shown his ability to impact matches with a long penetrating kick. At the Tigers in 2013, he started off slow, but really started impacting matches including great games against Geelong and Fremantle early in the season. Unfortunately, his season was cut short after and serious knee injury in the round 7 victory against Port Adelaide. Hopefully his recovery and rehab have been successful and he will be able to pick up where he left off in 2013.
 

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18

Shane Edwards (10)

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Total Games For Richmond 129
Total Votes 109 (302)
Rounds Played 19 (20)
Historic Position ’07:12 ’08:24 ’09:12 ’10:11 ’11:16 ‘12:9
Average Votes/Rounds 5.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 10 (7)
Best Round (Votes) 6 vs Geelong (50)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.129 (19)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 1 (=19)
Most Votes From Panthera tigris FC (11)

One of the polarising players in the Tiger’s line up, Shane Edwards had a disappointing season by his standard. 2013 represented his worst finish in this award since 2008 as he struggled to impact on games. We didn’t see a return to the days of Shank Edwards, but his inability to get good use of the ball and the decision to not play him as a forward for much of the season, saw him struggle to attract votes. He is capable of the sublime, releasing players from congestion, but he does try things sometimes that don’t come off. It doesn’t look like his place in the side is at risk, but he will need to improve his consistency in 2014.
 

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17

Matthew White (35)

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Total Games For Richmond 105
Total Votes 113 (6)
Rounds Played 16 (7)
Historic Position ’07:29 ’08:19 ’09:11 ’10:21 ’11:19 ‘12:26
Average Votes/Rounds 7.1
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 14 (20)
Best Round (Votes) 10 vs West Coast (56)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.690 (16)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 1 (=19)
Most Votes From Panthera tigris FC & dragicevic7 (6)

The year that saw Matty White take out the most improved player in his 8th season at the club and earn his first Brownlow votes (2), will also turn out to be his last in the Yellow & Black. Although not his best finish in these awards, Matty White’s speed and tenacity saw him demand his spot in the senior Tiger line up in 2013 and he played some key roles in Tiger victories throughout the season. At the time it came as a bit of surprise when PRE was informed of Matty White’s decision to move on, however, in hindsight it is obvious that the 3 year deal and assurances of a senior spot at Port Adelaide at the age of 27 were too good an opportunity to turn down. It is free agency at work and it makes sense, despite his lifelong love of the Tigers, for Matty to take up the offer. Best of luck mate. I’ll always remember him as a player that gave his all for the Yellow and Black.
 

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16

Aaron Edwards (27)

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Total Games For Richmond 9
Total Votes 114 (n/a)
Rounds Played 8 (n/a)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:NOL ‘12:NOL
Average Votes/Rounds 14.3
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 16 (23)
Best Round (Votes) 23 vs Essendon (52)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.313 (18)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 2 (=16)
Most Votes From Panthera tigris FC (11)

Another mature-aged pickup that polarised the PRE crowd after his drafting. Edwards did not get off to an ideal start after a drunken incident right after he was picked up by the Tigers. He let his footy do the talking during the season though. Dominant displays at Coburg meant that he constantly applied pressure on the third tall option in the Tigers forward line. Eventually he managed to claim that position and played reasonably well, but his goal output was modest. His recall to the senior side late in the season resulted in a purple patch that netted him 9 goals in the last two rounds of the season and all but guaranteed his spot in the Tigers finals side. Although he started the Elimination Final like a man possessed, he failed to capitalise and had a poor game overall. With the imminent departure of Luke McGuane from Richmond it would seem that Edwards may be able to extend his career at the Tigers for at least another season.
 

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15

Steven Morris (38)

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Total Games For Richmond 43
Total Votes 129 (320)
Rounds Played 21 (21)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:NOL ‘12:6
Average Votes/Rounds 6.1
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 8 (2)
Best Round (Votes) 15 vs North Melbourne (41)
Normalised Score (Rank) 4.437 (13)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 1 (=19)
Most Votes From AstuteTiger & TuesdayswithTerry (6)

The quiet achiever, Steven Morris’ second season in the Yellow and Black was really a case of just getting the job done. Morris is a blue collar player that works for a living and usually does his part in the Tigers line up. Although a critical piece of the Tiger puzzle, in some circles being discussed as potential All Australian, he didn’t attract consistently high votes in this award. He is the sort of player that consistently received 2 and 1 votes even though he rarely was beaten by his, often dangerous, opponent. What a change it makes at Richmond to have a defender that will give his all and usually beat the opponent’s best small forward. This had been such a weakness over recent seasons, it is remarkable what a difference Morris has made in that regard.
 

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14

Ivan Maric (20)

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Total Games For Richmond 41
Total Votes 134 (750)
Rounds Played 19 (21)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:NOL ‘12:4
Average Votes/Rounds 7.1
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 8 (1)
Best Round (Votes) 22 vs GWS (73)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.807 (15)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 3 (=14)
Most Votes From vernissage (7)

After a remarkable first year at Tigerland in 2012, capped off with a 4th place finish in this award, 2013 was a more difficult year for the big Ivan. It appeared that he was hampered for much of the year with some undefined injury, but he struggled in his leap and his general mobility. The other big difference, when compared to the previous season, was his inability to hold his marks as well, a key attribute that made him such a lynchpin in 2012. All that said, you cannot question the heart of Maric. He gave Richmond his all, epitomised by that remarkable goal in the Elimination Final that at least gave us some chance when the momentum was completely against us. Hopefully, the acquisition of Hampson and further development of Vickery can see the load lightened somewhat for Maric in 2014. An aggressive, physical, mobile ruckman is gold in modern footy. We just need to keep ours fit and able to play his role.
 

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13

Jake King (28)

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Total Games For Richmond 105
Total Votes 136 (62)
Rounds Played 17 (12)
Historic Position ’07:6 ’08:5 ’09:16 ’10:13 ’11:18 ‘12:16
Average Votes/Rounds 8.0
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 8 (6-8)
Best Round (Votes) 6 vs Geelong (98)
Normalised Score (Rank) 3.979 (14)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 4 (=11)
Most Votes From Coburgtiger (11)

It is easy to forget that Jake King had a very good start to the 2013 season. His efforts were reflected in his high standings in the Jack Dyer Medal count. However, it is easy to forget because his form did flag noticeably towards the second half of another injury interrupted season. When he is fit, he is a leader in the forward line and he can really lift the team. However, if he can’t chase and harass then he really becomes a liability. He has consistently polled well in these awards, always a top 20 player, even with interrupted seasons, but he needs to stay on the ground and have a more level season if he is to hold his spot long term.
 

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12

Troy Chaplin (25)

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Total Games For Richmond 22
Total Votes 199 (n/a)
Rounds Played 21 (n/a)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:NOL ‘12:NOL
Average Votes/Rounds 9.5
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 9 (10)
Best Round (Votes) 9 vs Essendon (104)
Normalised Score (Rank) 5.991 (12)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 4 (=11)
Most Votes From Fighting Fury & TuesdayswithTerry (8)

I don’t think any new recruit at Richmond had as big an effect as Troy Chaplin in 2013. We recruited Troy from Port Adelaide to play the role of big, key defender and he delivered. His presence in the backline and his intercept marking got better and better as the season unfolded. He also released the other back men at Richmond, most notably Alex Rance, as they didn’t always have to mind the most dangerous forward. His 12th place finish in this year’s award is certainly unders for the impact he had on the side. I guess it’s just the curse of being a defender that just does his job!
 

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11

Nick Vlastuin (31)

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Total Games For Richmond 18
Total Votes 285 (n/a)
Rounds Played 17 (n/a)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:NOL ‘12:NOL
Average Votes/Rounds 16.8
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 6 (10-12)
Best Round (Votes) 8 vs Melbourne (122)
Normalised Score (Rank) 7.490 (10)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 5 (10)
Most Votes From Fighting Fury, Newman & tigerdave (8)

Our first pick in the 2012 National Draft came as a surprise to quite a few, however the recent good form of the Richmond recruiters proved, again, spot on as Nick Vlastuin performed above and beyond my personal expectations. The talk about him was that he was going to be a solid performer, without the frills. It would seem that was a bit too conservative, as Nick displayed guts, skill and a great footy brain. To manage 17 games and a finals appearance in his debut season was a testament to his contribution. This was no longer a side that gifted game to youngsters, Nick had to earn his way in, but once he was selected he kept his position on merit. It is exciting to see that we have drafted another quality midfielder with A-grade potential.
 

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10

Tyrone Vickery (29)

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Total Games For Richmond 75
Total Votes 315 (0)
Rounds Played 20 (9)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:29 ’10:27 ’11:9 ‘12:DNP
Average Votes/Rounds 15.8
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 3 (1)
Best Round (Votes) 1 vs Carlton (123)
Normalised Score (Rank) 7.456 (11)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 4 (=11)
Most Votes From Tigers of Old (10)

After a 2012 to forget, playing nine, injury affected matches and failing to poll a vote in this award, Tyrone Vickery burst back into form in 2013, managing 20 matches. Ty is a critical player in the Tiger’s line up, playing that crucial ruck-forward role and providing essential relief to Ivan in the ruck. He still has a number of areas of improvement in him, including his contested marking, but he showed great signs in 2013. His ability to play as the mobile ruck and display great evasive skills in that role were back on show this year. With the recruit of Hampson, we may see Ty play more as the stay at home forward in 2014, where, with a bit more development and luck with the injury gods we could really see a true break out year.
 

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9

Bachar Houli (14)

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Total Games For Richmond 65
Total Votes 325 (126)
Rounds Played 20 (22)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:6 ‘12:15
Average Votes/Rounds 16.3
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 5 (13-15)
Best Round (Votes) 13 vs Western Bulldogs (136)
Normalised Score (Rank) 8.867 (8)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 7 (=7)
Most Votes From LeeToRainesToRoach (12)

2013 saw Houli miss his first games in the Yellow and Black since being recruited from Essendon prior to the 2011 season. However, it was only 2 matches and his output in the 20 rounds that he played in was solid and for a while in the middle of the season it was in the elite bracket. His form didn’t escape the footy media who were talking him up as potential All Australian during that purple patch. Although his form did tail off a bit, his run and carry and skills by foot are key component of the Tiger game plan. A top 10 finish in this award is just reward for an outstanding season.
 

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8

Jack Riewoldt (8)

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Total Games For Richmond 134
Total Votes 342 (280)
Rounds Played 21 (22)
Historic Position ’07:28 ’08:17 ’09:9 ’10:1 ’11:8 ‘12:10
Average Votes/Rounds 16.3
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 1 (2)
Best Round (Votes) 2 vs St Kilda (203)
Normalised Score (Rank) 8.415 (9)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 8 (6)
Most Votes From Coburgtiger (17)

Jack had another solid season playing his unselfish brand of footy, finishing 3rd in the league for total goal assists (26) and 6th on total goals (58). Although the media likes to always comment that this is the ‘new’ Jack, the fact that we have heard that for the past few years should tell you something. Although we don’t see as many bags from Jack and he doesn’t fly for as many marks, he consistently scores goals. This is due to his natural footy smarts and goal sense, a potent mix for an AFL forward. He still has the potential to score bags as his 10 goals in the two matches against his bunnies, St Kilda proved. That included 7 goals in the round 2 match against them. With two Colemans already secured and at 25 years of age (this month) we could still see the best of Jack over the next couple of seasons.
 

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7

Reece Conca (30)

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Total Games For Richmond 52
Total Votes 413 (175)
Rounds Played 16 (18)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:15 ‘12:13
Average Votes/Rounds 25.8
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 3 (2)
Best Round (Votes) 2 vs St Kilda (169)
Normalised Score (Rank) 10.376 (7)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 6 (9)
Most Votes From Tiger Ghost (13)

For a guy that only managed 16 matches this year, Conca has a great season, finishing 7th in this award. He shows no fear and has an innate ability to work in close an attribute that Richmond lacks depth in, especially with the retirement of Tuck. The loss of Conca in the Elimination Final was a key moment and I think the loss of that rotation was a real factor in our eventual fade out. Conca’s only real down moments were when he had just returned from injury, but once going he was always influential. His re-signing in this post-season was a good sign as we lock in the key elements of our future flag tilt.
 

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6

Alex Rance (18)

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Total Games For Richmond 89
Total Votes 499 (319)
Rounds Played 22 (22)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:23 ’10:24 ’11:5 ‘12:7
Average Votes/Rounds 22.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 4 (19)
Best Round (Votes) 19 vs Hawthorn (155)
Normalised Score (Rank) 12.746 (6)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 7 (=7)
Most Votes From GoodOne & happytige (14)

Another consistent year for Rance as he has, once again, been voted the best defender at Richmond. The ability to string consecutive games together (he hasn’t missed a game since 2011) is really paying dividends. The arrival of Chaplin at the Tigers has also improved the structure of the defence, which has helped Rance play a more attacking brand of footy. His job on Buddy Franklin was as good as any defender has played on him. Some say that he was unlucky to miss out on All Australian this year, but it is a hard position to get selected in and there are a few worthy candidates. It is remarkable that he hasn’t played 100 matches yet and another consistent year in 2014 will do his chances of taking that next step into the elite bracket no harm.
 

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5

Brandon Ellis (5)

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Total Games For Richmond 42
Total Votes 503 (54)
Rounds Played 20 (21)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:NOL ’09:NOL ’10:NOL ’11:NOL ‘12:17
Average Votes/Rounds 25.2
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 4 (8-15)
Best Round (Votes) 8 vs Melbourne (188)
Normalised Score (Rank) 13.435 (5)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 10 (5)
Most Votes From U2Tigers (13)

I think Brandon Ellis exhibited the biggest step up in class as compared to every other Tiger. His 39 disposals and a goal against Melbourne in round 8 was as good as you’ll see from a second year player. He spent most of the season playing on the wing and his ball use was exceptional. Whenever he had the ball I was happy that he would make a good decision and hit is target and rarely was I disappointed. Another of the young brigade that has shown that the future is very bright at Richmond and only 42 matches into his young career, the upside and potential improvement is enormous. It’s players like Ellis that make me confident about the direction the Tigers are headed in.
 

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4

Daniel Jackson (23)

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Total Games For Richmond 146
Total Votes 643 (17)
Rounds Played 22 (19)
Historic Position ’07:16 ’08:21 ’09:3 ’10:9 ’11:13 ‘12:21
Average Votes/Rounds 29.2
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 4 (16-18 & 20-23)
Best Round (Votes) 16 vs Gold Coast (134)
Normalised Score (Rank) 18.556 (4)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 13 (=3)
Most Votes From rosy23 (rosy3/23) (34)

The 2013 Jack Dyer Medallist is a polarising figure on the PRE forums. Even his harshest critics were won over (at least at times) with his best year in the Yellow and Black. Interestingly, Jackson finished higher in this award back in 2009, however that was unarguably an inferior side to the 2013 Richmond list. His ability to play well, week in week out, was the major difference. Persistence and having a better side around him were both important in his progression. It was great to see him kick freak goals on multiple occasions, his total of 18 a great turnaround in what was a weakness of his. I was personally very happy to see Jacko’s hard work pay off for him and a top 4 finish in this award, in a finals team, is great reward from a hard bunch of critics. If he can continue his form into 2014, it will play no small part in our finals chances next year.
 

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3

Trent Cotchin (9)

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Total Games For Richmond 108
Total Votes 832 (1722)
Rounds Played 21 (22)
Historic Position ’07:NOL ’08:13 ’09:22 ’10:4 ’11:1 ‘12:1
Average Votes/Rounds 39.6
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 1 (5)
Best Round (Votes) 17 vs Fremantle (169)
Normalised Score (Rank) 21.010 (3)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 13 (=3)
Most Votes From SCOOP & vernissage (25)

The 2011 and 2012 winner of this award, Trent Cotchin, had a more subdued year by his lofty standards. Considering it was his first year as the captain of Richmond in a season in which he turned 23 his output wasn’t exactly disappointing. The umpires still rated him highly, with 19 Brownlow votes, the most at Richmond, but he did have an up and down type of season. His best was still sublime, saving his best for the best with 34 touches each in our wins against Freo and Hawthorn, but there were games that he didn’t have his usual impact on. It is easy to be critical, but if he racks up over 800 votes and finishes 3rd in this award in a quiet year, it isn’t really all that bad!
 

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2

Brett Deledio (3)

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Total Games For Richmond 195
Total Votes 874 (1237)
Rounds Played 22 (22)
Historic Position ’07:2 ’08:2 ’09:1 ’10:2 ’11:4 ‘12:2
Average Votes/Rounds 39.7
Highest Ranking (Round(s)) 1 (1, 3-4, 7-17 & 21)
Best Round (Votes) 7 vs Port Adelaide (181)
Normalised Score (Rank) 21.948 (2)
Richmond ‘Brownlow’ Votes (Ranking) 17 (2)
Most Votes From AstuteTiger (25)

I think Lids needs a new nickname, either ‘Mr Consistent’ or ‘The Bridesmaid’. In the seven years that I have been running this award, Lids won it in 2009, finished 4th in 2011 and in the other 5 years he finished second, including 2013. His durability and elite-level talent consistently sees him at the top of the leaderboard in this award. For most of 2013 (14 rounds) he led this award and played a great year rotating through the midfield and in his familiar position providing the forward drive off half back. We all know how good he is by foot and he continued to be precise by foot and be damaging from outside 50, ranking 16th in the AFL for inside 50s. What is most amazing about Lids, now one of the elder statesman of the group, is that he has played 195 games and he is still only 26 years old. His ability to play out seasons should not be under appreciated as he is a real constant in the Tigers side. Can he go one better in 2014?