In the day and age when one-club athletes are becoming something of an endangered species, the desire to have the stability of spending one’s entire career in one location is influencing some AFL players to trade away money in exchange for long-term contracts.
Such would seem to be the case for Hawthorn Hawks’ star Cyril Rioli, who has committed to staying with the Hawks until 2020. It was actually a one-year extension in Rioli’s case, as he was already in the club’s fold until 2019. If he manages to complete the deal, he will be looking at completing his 13th season as a Hawk.
He made his debut in 2008 and has played in 178 games and has been a part of four premiership winning sides in that time.
In his nine seasons with Hawthorn, he has usually been a reliable presence, other than in 2013 and 2014, when he was respectively limited to 15 and 12 games.
Rioli will be just over 31 years of age when the 2020 season concludes, so he most likely will need one more contract if he desires to play on, although many players at that back end stage of their careers often find the business aspect of the game outweighing considerations of loyalty.