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How the Tiger midfielders are tracking

Dustin Martin relaxes after the final JLT match - AFL,Richmond Tigers
Dustin Martin relaxes after the final JLT match

Josh Caddy: The most impressive Tiger through the JLT Community Series, Caddy looks primed for a big year. He has moved seamlessly through the midfield and forward line and should again hit the scoreboard regularly as a rotating target.   

Callum Coleman-Jones: The 200cm ruckman suffered a knee injury in the second half of his draft year and he was managed through knee and Achilles soreness early in the pre-season. He emerged from that and has shown his ability to cover the ground well for a big man in training.  

Trent Cotchin: The captain is coming off his best season since his Brownlow year of 2012. He wins fewer possessions now but is a more effective player and an outstanding leader. He knows what do at this time of year and no unnecessary risks were taken during the pre-season competition.

Nathan Drummond: Returning from a second knee reconstruction, Drummond's goal has been to play at some level in round one. He will fall one week short after one month in full training, but it's a long season and the Tigers see a lot of promise in the young midfielder. 

Shane Edwards: One of the stars of last year's finals series, Edwards has built form nicely this pre-season and will again be crucial to the Tigers' forays forwards with his classy ball use. Injury-free all summer.

Corey Ellis: Played both JLT Community Series games, putting him in the extended squad the Tigers are looking at for round one. Has done a lot of his training in the midfield and, with his excellent ball-use, should get a crack in there at some point this year.

Jack Graham: The second-year midfielder is noticeably bigger and ready to build on last year's miraculous five-game cameo. The tackling machine has earned his place in the midfield after a full pre-season, putting his injury issues of 2017 behind him.

Shaun Grigg: Has had a new lease of life on the track this pre-season and will again hold down a wing. The senior Tiger has enjoyed an uninterrupted summer and will play an important role as one of the hardest runners both ways.   

Shaun Hampson: A back disc problem has restricted the ruckman significantly this pre-season. He will require ongoing management, but will look to return to football next weekend.  

Kane Lambert: Rotated forward in the second JLT Community Series match against North Melbourne and booted four goals in a standout pre-season performance. Always improving, the premiership midfielder could go to another level again in 2018.   

Sam Lloyd: Has trained in the midfield all pre-season and hopes to break into the 22 in that role after being on the fringe of a small forward line. Impressed in the second pre-season game and is jockeying to replace Dion Prestia in round one if required.  

Oleg Markov: Shoulder surgery saw the half-back start pre-season on a modified program and he had not completed enough contact work to participate in the JLT Community Series. Spent most of his time as a wingman in 2017, but was also used forward and back.  

Dustin Martin: The superstar midfielder returned to early pre-season training last November and has reaped the benefits in a drama-free preparation for 2018. While his game time was managed through the JLT Community Series, he showed signs he will replicate his elite best this season.       

Kamdyn McIntosh: A crucial defensive midfielder, McIntosh was an unheralded member of the Tigers' premiership 22. Excellent when sweeping defensively and intercepting, he has room to improve in his attacking game.

 

Connor Menadue: The hard-running outside midfielder lost his spot in the team in round 16 and didn't get it back. Winning more of the ball and improving his tackling and contested work will lead to more senior opportunities.

Anthony Miles: Was left out of both JLT Community Series games, despite the doubt on Dion Prestia for round one. Appears next in line for an inside midfield spot after tuning up well in VFL practice games.   

Ben Miller: After being eased into his first pre-season, the big utility has taken everything in his stride. Played ruck as a junior but the Tigers know they have a player who can also hold down a post in defence or forward.

Patrick Naish: With his impressive kicking skills turning heads on the track, Naish has the talent to force his way into the team this season if the Tigers decide they need outside run. Hardwick had been keen to expose the father-son selection during the JLT Community Series but he couldn't be squeezed in.   

Toby Nankervis: A head knock in the opening pre-season game was the only concern over the summer for the premiership ruckman, who rebounded impressively against North Melbourne. Expected to again carry the ruck load solo, with minimal support from midfielders such as Shaun Grigg.

Dion Prestia: Likely to fall short in his race to be fit for round one after a hamstring injury on the eve of the JLT Community Series. The premiership midfielder suffered a setback in his recovery and is too valuable to the engine room to rush back.

Ivan Soldo: As back-up to Nankervis in the ruck, Soldo has proven himself ready to play at AFL level when given opportunities. He was also solid in the JLT Community Series clash against North Melbourne, but his opportunities this year will hinge on injuries.