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Broad appeal on debut

Round 14: Broad post-match Nathan Broad speaks to Roar Vision after making his AFL debut in the Round 14 win over Brisbane.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: Debutante, Nathan Broad of the Tigers kicks the ball during the 2016 AFL Round 14 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Nathan Broad in his debut match against Brisbane on Saturday afternoon

Nathan Broad was having breakfast with a mate at about 9.30 last Saturday morning, when he received a phone call from Richmond coach Damien Hardwick to tell him he’d been making his senior league debut that afternoon against Brisbane at the MCG.

The Tigers’ mature-age recruit from WAFL club Swan Districts had been named as an emergency for the match, but he was a late replacement for defender Jake Batchelor, who was forced to withdraw from the side because of a back/hamstring issue.

Broad overcame the initial shock at his inclusion, to produce a more than adequate performance at the game’s highest level, picking up 14 disposals, including five intercepts, taking five marks, and providing some good run and carry out of the backline in Richmond’s 42-point win.

He recounted his AFL debut experience in a post-match interview with ‘Roar Vision’ . . .

“It was very exciting,” Broad said.

“I took it all in, in the warm-up, which was the main thing everyone told me to do.  And then, once I got out on the ground, it was fine. 

“It was comfortable, the nerves were all settled, and I just settled into the game nicely. 

“All the boys made it easy for me . . .”

Broad believes the few seasons he spent playing senior football for Swan Districts in the WAFL has helped make his transition into AFL ranks “a bit easier”.

“My body’s matured now, and it’s ready to go,” Broad said.

“I felt comfortable out there with the bigger bodies, which is nice.”

Jackson presents Broad's jumper

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick liked what he saw from the athletic 23-year-old first-up in the Tigers’ senior line-up.

“He was probably a little bit nervous and a bit hesitant early – as you would be when you only get a phone call this morning to tell you you’re playing.  But, as the game progressed, I thought he looked at home,” Hardwick said.

“He’ll only take confidence out of that . . .

“I think he’s going to be a solid player for us.” 

“It was good to give him an opportunity.”