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Luckless Tiger pair motivated by two teammates

Two members of Richmond’s 2017 premiership side shape as the inspiration for injury-plagued Tigers duo Ben Griffiths and Reece Conca, as they strive to get their AFL careers back on track.

David Astbury and Dylan Grimes overcame numerous injury setbacks throughout their league football journey to play key roles across the backline in the Tigers’ triumphant season.

Astbury, who debuted at senior league level for Richmond in 2010, managed just 41 games in his first six seasons because of a variety of injury problems.

In the past two seasons, however, Astbury has played 44 of a possible 47 games, including all 25 this year. It was the first time he hasn’t missed a game in any of his eight seasons at Tigerland.

Grimes also appeared in every game with Richmond during the 2017 season for the first time in his league football career.

After making his AFL debut in the final home-and-away round of the 2010 season, Grimes subsequently endured a horror injury run over the next three years – primarily hamstring-related – which restricted him to just 25 games in the Tigers’ senior line-up.

But since the start of the 2014 season, Grimes has played 78 of a possible 93 senior games for Richmond.

Griffiths, who made his senior debut with the Tigers back in 2010, has played just 63 games over that eight-season period, with only two appearances this year, mainly due to concussion issues.

He had an AFL career-high 16 games in 2014, but since then he’s missed 42 of Richmond’s 70 games.

Conca, who debuted for Richmond in 2011, has battled a string of injuries in recent times that have kept him to only 15 senior games throughout the past three seasons.

Clearly, Griffiths and Conca have the talent to be valuable members of the Tigers’ AFL line-up. What they need most of all, though, is for ‘Lady Luck’ to finally smile down on them (as she did for Astbury and Grimes), so they can get some long-awaited continuity with their football.