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Welcome to Tiger land Riley Collier’Dawkins

Dont Argue

Tiger Superstar
Jun 26, 2018
1,896
2,261
Mar 14, 2021

If you were a young up-and-coming AFL player, the last club you’d probably pick to try and get some game time is one that’s won three of the last four premierships.

But if you fit that description and you happen to find yourself on Richmond’s playing list, you don’t really have much of a choice but to put your head down and bum up and work overtime in order to break into one of the most dominant sides of the modern era.

“What it teaches some young guys is that spots are not just offered up to you just because you’ve got potential and you’ve been drafted at a young age,” Richmond national recruiting manager Matthew Clarke told Footyology.

“Those young guys have got to fight for a spot … we hope and we think we’ve picked some good characters that have got resilience and a really good work ethic to really hone their craft and take a spot off one of the veterans when they’re ready, or they become available like when injuries hit like they did last year.”

It won’t be easy, especially as complacency isn’t a quality that many pundits would associate with the Tigers, either. However, if some established players find themselves resting on their laurels at some point this season, the following three youngsters might make them wish they hadn’t.

RILEY COLLIER-DAWKINS

The Tigers’ top draft pick from 2018 (No.20 overall), the 21-year-old midfielder has been a bit of a late bloomer and is still yet to debut.

Finding a spot for himself in the Tigers’ star-studded on-ball division has also understandably proved to be a bit of a challenge in his first couple of years.

But after an impressive pre-season, and a lengthy body transformation, that looks certain to change in 2021, with Collier-Dawkins primed to have an impact at senior level at some stage.

“He’s one we’re really excited by and he got a bit of a taste in the [practice] game against Collingwood,” Clarke said. “We always knew that Riley would probably take a bit longer given he’s quite raw in his development and his exposure to the pathway when he came through.

“He wasn’t an under-16 [Victoria] Metro selection and hadn’t been in academy squads and all those types of things, so it was always going to take him 12-18 months to get his training and body into the right condition.

“He was always a big, strong, powerful boy, but he probably needed to trim his body down and build it back up again, which he has done.

“He’s a lot leaner, but he’s still retained his power and his leg speed, so I think he’s a guy that could really jump – he can play through the middle of the ground, he’s an explosive player from stoppage, he can really burst out and get moving.

“He’s also got the ability to play as a forward as well because of his marking ability – that’s where he played a lot of his footy as a junior.”

THOMSON DOW

After getting a taste of senior footy last year, playing two matches, the brother of Carlton’s Paddy Dow will almost certainly get even more game time in 2021.

Having overcome the unique obstacle of having no VFL competition to play in as a result of the pandemic yet still managing to get selected in his first year in the system speaks volumes of the potential possessed by the 19-year-old.

Like Collier-Dawkins, Dow is a Richmond top pick from 2019 (No.21 overall) and with so much development and upside still to come in his game, he looms as another exciting prospect for the Tigers who looks set to take his game to another level.

“We love his speed and his movement, he’s got fantastic agility and great speed from the contest – so ability to win the ball and get in and get out really quickly with his lateral movement and a change of pace,” Clarke said.

“He’s got terrific hands, he’s got really creative hands, we likened him a lot to Shane Edwards in his draft year with his ability to use his hands from a contest situation and find guys under pressure.

“He’s played a lot of junior footy as a forward as well, so forward-mid, that sort of area of the ground he can play, wing as well.”

HUGO RALPHSMITH

The son of former Hawthorn and St Kilda player Sean Ralphsmith, Hugo heads into his second year in the AFL with a genuine chance of playing at senior level as a utility.

The 19-year-old was taken at pick 46 in the 2019 draft and hasn’t made his debut yet, but his versatility as a footballer is something the Tigers’ match committee may find harder and harder to ignore as the season rolls on.

“He’s a great athlete, Hugo, and he played forward and a wing as a junior, but now he’s been able to use the forward, wing and even half-back role with his running power,” Clarke said.

“I think he’s taken some significant steps … and he’s put on some real muscle in the off-season and looks like he could take a real step, so we’re excited by what he could bring.

“He was just a young private school boy that hadn’t had a lot of time in the gym, and given his athletics background, he’s really not going to put on a lot of upper-body weight, he was always going to be light in that area.

“But now that he’s put on some significant kilos improving his upper-body strength, his ability to hold his own in one-on-one contests on the ground against bigger bodies and aerially has really improved.”

Despite Richmond heading into the new season as reigning premier, Dow, Ralphsmith and Collier-Dawkins have all done enough over the summer to be in the mix for the Tigers’ round one clash with Carlton.

“One thing about our coach is if he thinks you’re training well enough and you perform well enough, it doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a young developing player, if he thinks you’re good enough to play he will pick you,” Clarke said.

“And he will always pick for position rather than pure rating or talent that others might do, it’s more position-specific, whether it’s a half-forward or midfield or a half-back spot, he will give one of those guys a go.”

https://footyology.com.au/generation-next-2021-your
 
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Scoop

Tiger Legend
Dec 8, 2004
20,383
2,545
What more does he have to do? Wonder how the Martyn debut has made him feel.

Contracted until the end of 2022, he’s still part of the long term plans but I never thought Martin would debut before him.
 
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craig

Tiger Legend
Aug 19, 2004
32,505
9,490
Melbourne
What more does he have to do? Wonder how the Martyn debut has made him feel.

Contracted until the end of 2022, he’s still part of the long term plans but I never thought Martin would debut before him.
I did after the way Martyn finished last year and started this year off.

Will was very close to the fringe last year even running into the finals.

Id be happy for Riley to get a run though don't get me wrong.

I wouldve liked to see him sent him over to tangle with the Kochies as well.
 

Harry

Tiger Legend
Mar 2, 2003
21,504
5,122
What more does he have to do? Wonder how the Martyn debut has made him feel.

Contracted until the end of 2022, he’s still part of the long term plans but I never thought Martin would debut before him.
Gets caught with the ball too often. Will get hammered at AFL level.
 
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spook

Tiger Legend
Jun 18, 2007
13,395
5,978
Melbourne
Riley has exclusively been used as an inside mid since he arrived at the club. Big Jack put it on the table a while ago: let's see him up forward. He played there a bit as a kid, and with his pace and good hands, could be an option as a leading forward who applies pressure as well.
 
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TigerFurious

Smooth
Dec 17, 2002
2,386
518
A draft bust?
Looks that way.

Into his third year at the club, no major injuries, plenty of opportunities for promotion but continually gets overlooked. His VFL form hardly screams “pick me” either. At his absolute best he’s a low 20’s disposal type midfielder who occasionally does something eye catching but also goes missing for long periods.

Contrast RCD to someone like Mansell who came to the club in January and 3 months later is making his debut. The coaches clearly see something they like in one player but not the other.
 

eZyT

Tiger Legend
Jun 28, 2019
14,958
10,419
Gets caught with the ball too often. Will get hammered at AFL level.

he was the same as a junior. loads of his possessions were getting swung around.

I called him the first round bust of the draft before we took him,

and I have only seen that 20 mins of footy (VFL gf?) that changed my mind briefly.

really want to be wrong again.
 

MB78

I can have my cake and eat it too
Sep 8, 2009
6,911
580
Will be a huge wake up call not getting a game yet. If he is made of the right stuff he will show with VFL form that he is next in line.
 

Timmy99

Tiger Matchwinner
Jan 7, 2006
760
132
45
Canberra
he was the same as a junior. loads of his possessions were getting swung around.

I called him the first round bust of the draft before we took him,

and I have only seen that 20 mins of footy (VFL gf?) that changed my mind briefly.

really want to be wrong again.
I fear that you may have been right. I liked the pick and think he had great potential but he’s been a real slow burn.
 

Animal king

Tiger Cub
Sep 15, 2019
23
22
Looks that way.

Into his third year at the club, no major injuries, plenty of opportunities for promotion but continually gets overlooked. His VFL form hardly screams “pick me” either. At his absolute best he’s a low 20’s disposal type midfielder who occasionally does something eye catching but also goes missing for long periods.

Contrast RCD to someone like Mansell who came to the club in January and 3 months later is making his debut. The coaches clearly see something they like in one player but not the other.
Wonder why they offered him a new contract?
 
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TigerPort

Tiger Superstar
Jun 29, 2006
1,676
961
NSW
Will be a huge wake up call not getting a game yet. If he is made of the right stuff he will show with VFL form that he is next in line.

That is the go for him. Head down and keep learning. He will get games this year. At worse the club has to find out about these kids and whether they can play at the top level.

Win the premiership or not this year we are entering a transition period and we wont be hanging on to any surplus players
 
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nswtiger

tiger army tiger army!! thank you very much
Feb 14, 2005
1,194
379
Nrth NSW
looks like others have got pass him ..............a bloke who has been in the club five minutes gets a game over him .............
 

Harry

Tiger Legend
Mar 2, 2003
21,504
5,122
Watched him in the last quarter and was caught holding it a few times. His first instinct is to gather the ball and take on a player but doesn't have the core and upper body strength to break tackles. also doesn't have the change of direction power like Dusty, which makes him so hard to tackle.

Probably worked for him in juniors but won't against men. Needs to either get much stronger quickly or change the way he plays by releasing the ball much quicker.
 
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saigon tiger

Tiger Superstar
Jun 4, 2010
1,877
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I wonder if Dimma is still saying RCD has Dangerfield qualities or maybe thats why he isnt getting a game we dont like his type (Diverfield)
 

Tiger Pops

Tiger Champion
Apr 22, 2008
3,572
136
Melbourne
Just needs the VFL season to properly kick off. Work on his craft and if form warrants and a slot is open, he can/will debut.
 
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Harry

Tiger Legend
Mar 2, 2003
21,504
5,122
Just needs the VFL season to properly kick off. Work on his craft and if form warrants and a slot is open, he can/will debut.
yeah, he had good momentum in the vfl late 2019. the year off would have impacted him quite a bit.
 
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Ice

Tiger Superstar
Jul 18, 2006
1,738
361
Hasn’t shown enough at vfl level for mine to justify a debut.
 
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French Tiger

Tiger Champion
Oct 6, 2004
4,457
758
Gets caught with the ball too often. Will get hammered at AFL level.
With his size he was most likely to get away with it in the under 18's getting a handball away whilst being tackled like Cripps does. Different story so far against the men.