For those of us fortunate enough to have watched Maurice Rioli senior weave wizardry throughout a decorated 118-game game for Richmond, the sight of his son, Maurice Rioli junior, exerting such an influence at the start of his AFL career with the Tigers has extra-special significance.
Mind you, all members of the Tiger Army seemingly have enthusiastically embraced young Rioli, who is sending them into raptures with the frenetic pressure he is applying to opponents in his small-forward role.
The 19-year-old, in just his second season of AFL football (15 senior games all-up), is creating so many scoring opportunities for teammates by forcing opposition turnovers.
His non-stop, energetic pressuring is really putting the wind up opponents, and the Tigers are subsequently reaping the rewards on the scoreboard.
“It’s something that’s probably built into me. It’s natural . . . I just go out and just play footy and then all the tackles and pressure just come with me,” Rioli told Richmond Media.
Rioli also is impressively developing other aspects of his game, as evidenced in Richmond’s 61-point victory over Hawthorn at the MCG last Sunday.
He finished the match with 12 disposals, three marks, four tackles, two goals, nine score involvements and 337 metres gained.
In his 13 senior appearances this season, Rioli has kicked 12 goals and had nine goal assists to teammates.
Following Rioli’s progress over the course of the next few years is going to be a source of great enjoyment for Yellow and Black barrackers.