The Richmond Tigers had a fairly easy time of it in last night’s season opener of the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership, winning by 43 points.
Enthusiasm may have been a little too high; however, as talk is already emanating that Dustin Martin is an early contender for the 2017 Brownlow Medal.
This, before last year’s winner, Patrick Dangerfield, or 2015’s Nat Fyfe have once taken the ground.
Martin did have a vote-worthy outing. He has established a pace that Dangerfield and Fyfe will try to match when those two face off against one another when the Geelong Cats and the Fremantle Dockers meet on Sunday evening.
Martin was seemingly everywhere, amassing 33 disposals, six clearances and four goals, as well as setting up his teammates for two more.
Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy, new additions to the Tigers, certainly played a role, as their presence enabled Martin to roam free inside 50. With Prestia and Caddy doing their thing, Martin was able to play more forward.
The offseason recruitment of Prestia and Caddy is a factor than cannot be overlooked, and it is not unfair to say that their acquisition may have been the shrewdest move to take place, at least as far as the Tigers are involved.
Martin will be out of contract at season’s end, so he has plenty of motivation to drive him this season, and a Brownlow would undoubtedly enhance his prospects.