Dustin Martin | PUNT ROAD END | Richmond Tigers Forum
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Dustin Martin

tigerman

It's Tiger Time
Mar 17, 2003
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I was reading the ‘your club’s best player of the 2000’s’ article on the the AFL site while having a crap at my mother in laws. I clicked on dustys highlights and they went on forever. I looked after - almost 10 minutes without 2020. Other players went for 3 or 4. There was a fair bit of pounding on the door and questions about crowd noise after. I strutted out jubilant!
Oh, the serenity.
 
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123kid

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May 1, 2016
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The logic behind taking Scully and Trengove ahead of Martin was sound at the time. Both were very highly rated juniors, had great leadership potential and were probably safer bets compared to Martin. The decision was vindicated somewhat during their first two seasons when both averaged 20+ disposals and looked like jets but without the behavioral “challenges” Dusty had.

The problem was development and culture. Scully famously abandoning an end of season trip not liking what he saw from teammates then leaving for GWS after only two years. Trengove being burdened with the captaincy after only two seasons and then having to battle a serious foot problem which eventually ruined his entire career. Not isolated instances either with Melbourne proving capable of destroying plenty of talented youngsters promising careers in subsequent years.

Martin has gone on to become a legend of the game but I’d bet a significant amount money that if we had picks 1 and 2 in that draft we’d have done the same as Melbourne and taken Scully and Trengove.

Agree with this. If recruiting was the problem of poor clubs, you’d expect to find 50 / 50 examples of both successful and unsuccessful clubs making recruiting mistakes. But that’s not the case.

I say that because one player is never enough to turn the fortunes of a club around, whether it’s Chris Judd or Gary Ablett. Poor clubs remain poor, but they remain poor even when they trade in... so their draft failures must really be development failures.

Young men with potential do not have a fixed, destined value. Dusty isn’t Dusty under Melbourne’s coach and system, and Scully/Trengove aren’t Scully/Trengove under our system.

I hope Melbourne think it’s a recruiting error though. If so, they’ll be thinking “Whoops! We drafted the wrong guy. That’s why we suck. Flip a coin and we would’ve been successful like Richmond!”

I reckon the best recruiting decision we’ve ever made was when Benny Gale and Dimma took full responsibility for the state of the club. That attitude filtered down and everyone involved took responsibility for their part. Now we have a club where every department makes great decisions on a regular basis, which allows us to end up with most of our picks becoming fulfilled talents on-field.

It’s hard not to elevate individual players (especially someone like Dusty), but in my opinion perhaps outside a select few cultural leaders, it probably wouldn’t have mattered who we drafted for the most part. Look at Houli for Essendon. He became a legend under Dimma, and so did many others.
 
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RedanTiger

Tiger Champion
Nov 21, 2004
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Agree with this. If recruiting was the problem of poor clubs, you’d expect to find 50 / 50 examples of both successful and unsuccessful clubs making recruiting mistakes. But that’s not the case.

I say that because one player is never enough to turn the fortunes of a club around, whether it’s Chris Judd or Gary Ablett. Poor clubs remain poor, but they remain poor even when they trade in... so their draft failures must really be development failures.

Young men with potential do not have a fixed, destined value. Dusty isn’t Dusty under Melbourne’s coach and system, and Scully/Trengove aren’t Scully/Trengove under our system.

I hope Melbourne think it’s a recruiting error though. If so, they’ll be thinking “Whoops! We drafted the wrong guy. That’s why we suck. Flip a coin and we would’ve been successful like Richmond!”

I reckon the best recruiting decision we’ve ever made was when Benny Gale and Dimma took full responsibility for the state of the club. That attitude filtered down and everyone involved took responsibility for their part. Now we have a club where every department makes great decisions on a regular basis, which allows us to end up with most of our picks becoming fulfilled talents on-field.

It’s hard not to elevate individual players (especially someone like Dusty), but in my opinion perhaps outside a select few cultural leaders, it probably wouldn’t have mattered who we drafted for the most part. Look at Houli for Essendon. He became a legend under Dimma, and so did many others.
An even more pertinent case to me is Cotchin and Kreuzer.
Best mates and taken one and two.
If you had to bet at the time you would take Kreuzer - great leadership, great skills, great build and great attitude right from the start.
Then the injuries set in and they treated him pretty poorly about the leadership and killed his confidence.

Cotchin early days was a bit selfish getting cheap stats and lost in leadership.
Then he takes the wife's advice and changes everything from his style of play to his approach to his mates and even the game itself.
Voila! Now a club legend and accepted as one of the best on-field leaders in the league
 
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CarnTheTiges

This is a REAL tiger
Mar 8, 2004
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An even more pertinent case to me is Cotchin and Kreuzer.
Best mates and taken one and two.
If you had to bet at the time you would take Kreuzer - great leadership, great skills, great build and great attitude right from the start.
Then the injuries set in and they treated him pretty poorly about the leadership and killed his confidence.

Cotchin early days was a bit selfish getting cheap stats and lost in leadership.
Then he takes the wife's advice and changes everything from his style of play to his approach to his mates and even the game itself.
Voila! Now a club legend and accepted as one of the best on-field leaders in the league
I’ve always felt that if we’d had the #1 pick, we would have selected Kreuzer, because we really needed a ruck, and they’re hard to come by. I think at the time a number of analysts actually rated Cotchin as the better player, but Carlton felt they were well set up for midfielders, but didn’t have a ruck.
 

tigerman

It's Tiger Time
Mar 17, 2003
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An even more pertinent case to me is Cotchin and Kreuzer.
Best mates and taken one and two.
If you had to bet at the time you would take Kreuzer - great leadership, great skills, great build and great attitude right from the start.
Then the injuries set in and they treated him pretty poorly about the leadership and killed his confidence.

Cotchin early days was a bit selfish getting cheap stats and lost in leadership.
Then he takes the wife's advice and changes everything from his style of play to his approach to his mates and even the game itself.
Voila! Now a club legend and accepted as one of the best on-field leaders in the league
Speaking of Trent we as supporters and the RFC owe Trent a huge debt of gratitude. He's played a big role in Dusty's development off field. There's is a very special friendship.
 
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Scoop

Tiger Legend
Dec 8, 2004
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Maxy Gawn spewing on Scully in China needs a 6 part HBO mini-series.
 
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jb03

Tiger Legend
Jan 28, 2004
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I think it was a bit of a reflection on how things were done back then as well. That was my first little glimpse of AFL recruiting and it was a shambles.

Us getting Dustin and him being a player was a kiss on the old fella from the man upstairs I think. The kid had spent a year and a bit in the TAC cup program and no-one from Richmond even had a conversation with anyone from the organisation. I reckon our recruiting process at that stage was Frank Jackson in a room with a twenty cent coin.
That is unfair on Richmond and Jackson. We were all over Martin (as were the Swans). Martin was no secret though, he dominated for Vic Country (and had Astbury among others as a team mate). The only ones that deserve a whack are Melbourne.
 
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The Big Richo

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Aug 19, 2010
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That is unfair on Richmond and Jackson.

Just the facts as far as I see it. Having a kid part of a TAC cup squad for 16-18 months and then not even having a single conversation with any of the coaches who had watched every minute of training and playing he had done in that time, as well as having a pretty good knowledge of him as a person is pretty ordinary work I think.
 

jb03

Tiger Legend
Jan 28, 2004
28,331
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Just the facts as far as I see it. Having a kid part of a TAC cup squad for 16-18 months and then not even having a single conversation with any of the coaches who had watched every minute of training and playing he had done in that time, as well as having a pretty good knowledge of him as a person is pretty ordinary work I think.
Not sure that is true but is more common than you think regardless. Seriouslyi, what is the point of talking to his coach - akin to talking with Michael Turner about Geelong Falcons kids. The last thing a seasoned recruiter wants is a nuffie junior coach talking a club into, or out of a player. Martin was a highly touted junior but was not a certainty at 3 - Frank and Richmond deserve credit for taking him.
 
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DavidSSS

Tiger Champion
Dec 11, 2017
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Melbourne
Agree with this. If recruiting was the problem of poor clubs, you’d expect to find 50 / 50 examples of both successful and unsuccessful clubs making recruiting mistakes. But that’s not the case.

I say that because one player is never enough to turn the fortunes of a club around, whether it’s Chris Judd or Gary Ablett. Poor clubs remain poor, but they remain poor even when they trade in... so their draft failures must really be development failures.

Young men with potential do not have a fixed, destined value. Dusty isn’t Dusty under Melbourne’s coach and system, and Scully/Trengove aren’t Scully/Trengove under our system.

I hope Melbourne think it’s a recruiting error though. If so, they’ll be thinking “Whoops! We drafted the wrong guy. That’s why we suck. Flip a coin and we would’ve been successful like Richmond!”

I reckon the best recruiting decision we’ve ever made was when Benny Gale and Dimma took full responsibility for the state of the club. That attitude filtered down and everyone involved took responsibility for their part. Now we have a club where every department makes great decisions on a regular basis, which allows us to end up with most of our picks becoming fulfilled talents on-field.

It’s hard not to elevate individual players (especially someone like Dusty), but in my opinion perhaps outside a select few cultural leaders, it probably wouldn’t have mattered who we drafted for the most part. Look at Houli for Essendon. He became a legend under Dimma, and so did many others.

I think this is very true. I remember always lamenting that Essendon could take players who were not touted as stars when they were juniors and turn them into stars. Meanwhile Richmond would take early draft picks who were proven performers at their level and develop none or maybe one of them into a star.

Development is hugely important.

My observations have also led me to the opinion that turning around a club in terms of being able to develop players well is damned difficult. You see it every year, some clubs just don't seem to be able to take a great young player and get them to AFL level, and those same clubs spend years, even decades, with the inability to develop players. As a Richmond supporter I know this well as I saw our club do it for so many years. Credit to those who managed to turn this around. Essendon are a great example at present of losing this ability, and I suspect it will take time to turn it around. Melbourne seem to be hopeless at developing players and have been for decades, they need to seriously work out how to change this.

It isn't so much who you draft, important though that is, it is whether you can pick players who are good enough and get them to the next level. As Dimma often says - all the players in the draft can kick, mark, handball, run etc,. The club has to take them to the next level to be good AFL players.

DS
 
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eZyT

Tiger Legend
Jun 28, 2019
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Yes development is hugely important. A sobering reminder that we’ve just lost two of the best in Fly & Leppa..

thanks Oldy,

I really needed a sobering reminder.

I think 69 days is a sufficient premiership celebration?
 

momentai

Tiger Champion
Jul 24, 2004
3,632
282
Melb
Just the facts as far as I see it. Having a kid part of a TAC cup squad for 16-18 months and then not even having a single conversation with any of the coaches who had watched every minute of training and playing he had done in that time, as well as having a pretty good knowledge of him as a person is pretty ordinary work I think.
There was a 3-4 year period maybe 2005-8? when Wallace and Miller were in charge, and when the club had a pre draft review night at Punt road in which members were allowed some insight into which sort of players and in some cases which players, were under consideration. Great Richmond night for those outside the club during which I recall meeting Phantom, Lutt, Dyer 'ere and other PRE luminaries.
Frank was usually in attendance and would speak when asked to do so. My impression was that he often didn't think much of Miller and his plans.
One night they were talking about Oakley-Nicholls who later came to us as a first rounder. We were shown a highlights tape and Miller seemed very keen.

I think Hartley, Clarke and our current expert team which includes Frank, would be left to wonder.
 

tigerman

It's Tiger Time
Mar 17, 2003
13,957
5,241
Not sure that is true but is more common than you think regardless. Seriouslyi, what is the point of talking to his coach - akin to talking with Michael Turner about Geelong Falcons kids. The last thing a seasoned recruiter wants is a nuffie junior coach talking a club into, or out of a player. Martin was a highly touted junior but was not a certainty at 3 - Frank and Richmond deserve credit for taking him.
Yep, Frank and the RFC deserve all the credit, they told Dusty and his mother that Richmond were going to pick him if he was still available.
 

CarnTheTiges

This is a REAL tiger
Mar 8, 2004
20,018
2,826
Victoria
I think this is very true. I remember always lamenting that Essendon could take players who were not touted as stars when they were juniors and turn them into stars. Meanwhile Richmond would take early draft picks who were proven performers at their level and develop none or maybe one of them into a star.

Development is hugely important.

My observations have also led me to the opinion that turning around a club in terms of being able to develop players well is damned difficult. You see it every year, some clubs just don't seem to be able to take a great young player and get them to AFL level, and those same clubs spend years, even decades, with the inability to develop players. As a Richmond supporter I know this well as I saw our club do it for so many years. Credit to those who managed to turn this around. Essendon are a great example at present of losing this ability, and I suspect it will take time to turn it around. Melbourne seem to be hopeless at developing players and have been for decades, they need to seriously work out how to change this.

It isn't so much who you draft, important though that is, it is whether you can pick players who are good enough and get them to the next level. As Dimma often says - all the players in the draft can kick, mark, handball, run etc,. The club has to take them to the next level to be good AFL players.

DS
And Essendon still seem to think they’re in those days.
 
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No 4

I did what I did for the Tigers - Bridget
Feb 11, 2005
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There was a 3-4 year period maybe 2005-8? when Wallace and Miller were in charge, and when the club had a pre draft review night at Punt road in which members were allowed some insight into which sort of players and in some cases which players, were under consideration. Great Richmond night for those outside the club during which I recall meeting Phantom, Lutt, Dyer 'ere and other PRE luminaries.
Frank was usually in attendance and would speak when asked to do so. My impression was that he often didn't think much of Miller and his plans.
One night they were talking about Oakley-Nicholls who later came to us as a first rounder. We were shown a highlights tape and Miller seemed very keen.

I think Hartley, Clarke and our current expert team which includes Frank, would be left to wonder.
I was at this presentation with Miller & company. shows highlights, but I seem to recall we were very interested in Varcoe.
 

The Big Richo

Moderator
Aug 19, 2010
3,912
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The home of Dusty
Not sure that is true but is more common than you think regardless. Seriouslyi, what is the point of talking to his coach - akin to talking with Michael Turner about Geelong Falcons kids. The last thing a seasoned recruiter wants is a nuffie junior coach talking a club into, or out of a player. Martin was a highly touted junior but was not a certainty at 3 - Frank and Richmond deserve credit for taking him.

Nuffie is a bit harsh, we're talking the elite under 18 competition.

Yep, Frank and the RFC deserve all the credit, they told Dusty and his mother that Richmond were going to pick him if he was still available.

That only happened a day or so before the draft. About two weeks before the draft Mark Robinson was scheduled to interview him and he was so nervous about his prospects at that stage he wanted to cancel.

At that point he had spoken to a heap of clubs but not Melbourne so he knew he wasn't going to them. Richmond had spoken to him a couple of times but he was nervous because they hadn't told him they would take him and he knew they hadn't spoken to people around him like the other clubs had, so he was worried they had lost interest.
 

momentai

Tiger Champion
Jul 24, 2004
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Melb
I was at this presentation with Miller & company. shows highlights, but I seem to recall we were very interested in Varcoe.
I hadn't remembered mention of Varcoe, but interestingly he went later to Geelong. Suspect Varcoe may have been favoured by Frank, but Miller wanted Oakley-Nichols.
At one of these sessions I recall asking about the recruitment of an x Footscray player? in exchange for an early pick and Frank just shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. While he was our senior recruiter I think his judgement may often have been stuffed by the efforts of Miller and Wallace?