Richmond’s young, big-bodied inside midfielder Riley Collier-Dawkins made good progress this year after having to wait until what was his third season at the Club to debut at AFL level.

The Tigers’ first pick (No. 20 overall) in the 2018 AFL national draft played nine senior games all-up, averaging 14.7 disposals, 6.3 contested possessions, 3.3 clearances, 2.1 centre clearances, 3.6 tackles and 209.7 metres gained per match.

Among the competition’s rising star contenders, Collier-Dawkins was ranked No. 1 for centre clearances per game and No. 3 for total clearances per game.

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Round 9: First AFL goal worth the wait for Collier-Dawkins

Riley Collier-Dawkins conjures his first ever goal in the AFL with this lovely left-foot snap.

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And he capped off the promising start to his AFL career by winning Richmond’s Cosgrove-Jenkins best first year player award.

The Tigers’ national recruiting manager Matthew Clarke believes there is a huge upside to Collier-Dawkins.

“I think we always thought that it would take a little bit longer with Riley, just given his training history, as well as the programs and the understanding of footy in elite pathways,” Clarke said on the AFL.com.au ‘Road to the Draft’ podcast.

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Clarke chats all things Draft

Richmond recruiting manager, Matt Clarke speaks to Cal Twomey on the, 'Road to the Draft' podcast.

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“When he got his chance this year, he played a couple of ripping games . . .

“Against the Giants at Marvel (Stadium) he kicked a couple of goals and really kept us in the game early.

“He’s scratching the surface . . . He’s starting to work out how big and physical he could be.

“A good sign is when he’d go back from AFL level to some VFL footy and he’d look dominant at times.

“It looks like he really belongs there (at AFL level), rather than being that bit-part midfielder . . .

“I think the sky’s the limit for Riley.”

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2021 JDM: Bill Cosgrove/Harry Jenkins Best First Year Player Award

Riley Collier-Dawkins accepts the Bill Cosgrove/Harry Jenkins Best First Year Player Award.

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