Main content

Lightning Bolton strikes

Round 13: Bolton kicks his first two Shai Bolton boots his first two goals as a Tiger.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 17: Shai Bolton of the Tigers in action during the 2017 AFL round 13 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Sydney Swans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 17, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Shai Bolton was a shining light in the disappointing loss to Sydney

Amid the disappointment of Richmond’s narrow loss to Sydney at the MCG yesterday was a shining new bright light in the form of talented teenage small forward Shai Bolton.

The Tigers’ first pick (No. 29 overall) in last year’s AFL National Draft, playing just his fourth senior league game, was arguably best afield to half-time of the clash with the Swans.

Bolton, 18, was the catalyst for Richmond’s flying start, which saw it kick the first six goals of the match.

He picked up seven disposals and kicked two goals in the first quarter, then continued to showcase his exciting skills and electrifying pace across the Tigers’ forward line throughout the second term, with another five touches.

Admittedly, Bolton faded out of the contest after that, but the football he produced in the first half was an exhilarating snapshot of what the Tiger Army can expect from the ‘pocket rocket’ as he gains experience at the game’s highest level.

Richmond captain Trent Cotchin was suitably impressed with what he saw from Bolton on the wide, open spaces of the MCG.

“I think Shai started to show exactly what he’s capable of,” Cotchin told 3AW.

“With young kids, they do float in and out of games, but he was electrifying today and really clean, which is exciting for us. 

“The more games he plays, the better he’s going to show up for four quarters . . .

“Good luck trying to stop him when he does get the footy.”