Richmond national recruiting manager Matthew Clarke has revealed how the Tigers had kept a keen eye on Rhyan Mansell’s football progress before ultimately securing his services via this year’s AFL pre-season supplemental period.
It proved to be a smart move by the Tiger talent scouts with Mansell playing 13 games in his debut season of AFL football and impressing as a speedy, tough, courageous, fiercely competitive small defender.
After playing in three premierships at senior level with Tasmanian club North Launceston, and another flag in the SANFL at Woodville-West Torrens, Mansell clearly was not overawed taking the next step of his football journey into the AFL.
Mansell, 21, was rewarded by Richmond for his efforts throughout the 2021 season with a two-year contract extension, which was announced earlier this week.
“We tracked him like a lot of these boys from their (under) 16s days . . . we’d been watching him for a while,” Clarke said on the AFL.com.au ‘Road to the Draft’ podcast.
“We had some really good info out of Tassie about how he went about his footy.
“And then, when he made the decision to go play over in the SANFL (with Woodville-West Torrens), Jade Sheedy (Woodville-West Torrens coach) and the boys saw the hardness in him that they wanted as a small back.
“He played every week on the best small forward, learned every week and worked really hard.
“Rhyan’s always played with that real hard edge to his footy, which we like . . . and he fits into the group really well.”