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Soldo signs

New Richmond rookie Ivan Soldo, with his cousin, and Tiger ruckman, Ivan Maric.
New Richmond rookie Ivan Soldo, with cousin and Tiger ruckman, Ivan Maric.

Richmond has signed 18-year-old former state basketballer Ivan Soldo as a three-year non-registered Category B rookie.

Soldo – the cousin of Tigers’ ruckman Ivan Maric – won the spot as a rookie after impressing in a trial earlier this year.

The 204cm, 106kg ruckman-in-the-making has been granted permission to play out the rest of the 2014 season in the TAC Cup with the Northern Knights, before officially becoming a Richmond rookie for the 2015 season.

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Originally from Canberra, Soldo represented the ACT in basketball at U16 and U18 national level, before making the switch to AFL.

“Ivan is very raw, and will be a long-term project, but he has all the attributes of an AFL player and we look forward to seeing what he can bring to the group,” said Richmond general manager of football, Dan Richardson.

“He has shown a great capacity and willingness to learn, and he has really thrown himself into training.

“Being able to gain some valuable playing experience in the TAC Cup will only fast-track his development, before he can join in a full pre-season with Richmond.

“Being able to go to Ivan Maric for advice has also helped introduce him to the weekly demands of AFL footy.”