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Garthwaite on song

VFL captain Sam Darley on SEN Sam Darley speaks to SEN ahead of the team's Round 3 clash against Port Melbourne.

Young Richmond key defender Ryan Garthwaite has received a ringing endorsement from the Tigers’ VFL captain Sam Darley.

Garthwaite, Richmond’s third pick (No. 72 overall) in last year’s AFL National Draft, has started the VFL season strongly, showcasing his defensive skills, first-rate intercept marking, and considerable appetite for the contest.

The 192cm, 84kg, 18-year-old, was one of the VFL Tigers’ best in their loss to Port Melbourne last Saturday, finishing with 12 disposals, eight marks, three tackles and four spoils.

Darley, who played 13 games for Greater Western Sydney and then seven with Western Bulldogs, before joining Richmond at VFL level, rates Garthwaite highly.

“Seeing ‘Garthy’ up close and personal, being down back, he’s one of the more impressive first-year players I’ve seen, both from my time at the Giants, the Bulldogs, and now at Richmond,” Darley told SEN.

“He’s a very quiet kid, an extremely hard worker, and really competitive as well . . .

“He’s been pretty impressive.

“I don’t think I’ve seen a first-year player play key position and do it quite so well.

“I’m very excited about where his future lies.”