Former Geelong player Paul Brown knew for several years his eldest son possessed considerable football ability, but it’s only been in more recent times that Tom Brown has acquired the necessary self-belief to flourish on-field.

The talented teenager thrived for NAB League team Murray Bushrangers, initially as a half-forward and then as a half-back, attracting the attention of a host of AFL recruiters along the way.

It was Richmond, ultimately, that managed to snare him at pick 17 overall in the 2021 national draft, and he seems well prepared for a decent crack at a successful AFL career with the Tigers.

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Brown senior explained his son’s football transformation since being moved to a half-back flank.

“I coached Tom early on and in primary school he was that perfect ruckman, a kick behind play. If he plonked himself there, he was going to mark it and I would say I need you to win the game, not stop the other team,” he said.

“Only this year, Mark Brown, who coaches him at the ‘Bushies’, said, ‘Where do you think Tom’s best position is’ and I said, ‘It’s about time you guys asked. It’s half-back’.

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“For the handful of games they played him there, they could see he could read the play, was a good kick, and was quick off the mark.

“He’s taking the game on a bit, which he didn’t do as a kid.”

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