Source: Dustin Martin via Facebook.
This season just keeps getting better and better for Richmond Tiger’s dynamic midfielder Dustin Martin, as he claimed a record-breaking win at Monday night’s Brownlow Medal presentation at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne.
He was the shortest priced favourite ever in the award’s history, with the latest AFL odds having him at $1.03 to snare the medal after racking up 36 votes over the course of the year. This broke the previous record of 35 votes, which was held by Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield from the 2016 season. Hawthorne Hawks’ Tom Mitchell was the closest challenger with 25 votes, followed by Josh Kennedy on 23 from the Sydney Swans.
It had been a two-horse race between Martin and Dangerfield earlier in the year and was shaping up to be a fantastic race to the finish. However, the Cats’ midfielder received a suspension after a heavy tackle on Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, making him ineligible for the award and turning Dusty into the clear front-runner. The Geelong superstar finished the season with 33 votes in total.
The records continued to fall, with the Tigers’ player receiving the most three-vote performances for best-on-grounds, with 12 votes in total, smashing the old record of nine held by Dangerfield, Nat Fyfe (2015) and Greg Williams (1994). Martin said that it was a surreal position to be in and he was just happy he could be a part of his side’s incredible campaign.
Source: Dustin Martin via Facebook
He spoke about AFL being the only thing that he had ever wanted to do with his life and how he was so overjoyed that his hard work and dedication was paying off. He added that every year he looks for ways to improve himself, whether it is through new diets, more cross-training or even a bit of meditation to help him stay on track.
He paid respect and gave a shout-out to some of his coaches, including Andrew McQualter, Blake Caracella and Damien Hardwick, as well as praising the positive influence that Richmond Captain Trent Cotchin has had on his life.
Dusty was earlier awarded the Most Valuable Player by the AFL Players’ Association and the AFL Coaches Association, further demonstrating his sensational form this season.
This year, Martin averaged an overwhelming 30 disposals, 14 contested possessions and six clearances per game. Add six inside 50s, four tackles and a goal, and you start to see how much of an impact the man has had on this Richmond side.
He also set a new AFL record for the most broken tackles, with 68, and drew level for most in a single game when he notched up seven in their round 15 victory over Port Adelaide. He had the most inside 50s in the entire league, with an astonishing 147.
Luckily for the Tigers, they have secured the services of their star man for the immediate future, with the 26-year old putting pen to paper last month, signing a new seven-year deal reportedly worth around $1.2 million per season.