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Grimes’ Tiger tale

Contract: Grimes Dylan Grimes speaks to Roar Vision about extending his contract until the end of 2021.

Dependable defender Dylan Grimes, coming off 2017 premiership glory with Richmond, a career-high top-five placing in the Jack Dyer Medal and a recent three-year contract extension, opens up to ‘Roar Vision’ about his great Yellow and Black passion . . . 

“I’m over the moon . . . couldn’t be happier to be locked away at Richmond for another three years after this year.

“That’ll be coming up to about my 11th year of (AFL) footy after that contract’s over, so absolutely thrilled to be a one-club player. And, honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more over my time at Richmond.

“It’s actually pretty crazy to look back and think, you know, I was drafted in the pre-season draft, so initially missed out on getting drafted. Trained on and managed to get a spot here.

“The first couple of years of my career I was playing VFL reserves at times, and had a patch there where I struggled quite a bit with injuries. But the last few seasons I’ve enjoyed relative injury-free seasons and I’ve just been honestly loving my time.

“Even the times when I was injured, it’s been the place that I’ve loved and that I’ve really felt at home at, and I feel really grateful and indebted to the Club for the opportunities they’ve given me.

“When I was struggling with a couple of hamstring injuries, that put me out for sort of six months at a time, the coaches were really good in encouraging me to address other areas of my life that I could work on.

“I couldn’t improve my footy career when I was coming back from surgery, but I could improve who I was as a person and what I was doing off-field.

“The Club was really proactive in encouraging me to get involved in the community, get involved with coaching, which is something I was really passionate about. Even try some left of field things, like I got my private pilot’s licence there with Alex Rance.

“They were really supportive for me during a time that was especially tough for me . . . It’s testament with the Club they’re just as focused on improving you as a person as they are a player.

“And I really feel like we’ve been really lucky with the fans that we have because they’ve shown enormous support in those darker times . . .

“What we were able to achieve last year meant so much to so many people.

“You know, 20 minutes after the Grand Final walking around the ground and seeing the emotion on people’s faces, that was something that I’ll never forget and is probably my most treasured memory about the whole Grand Final experience.

“The Club culture, I think, has never been stronger than it is today.

“This time last year I could really see the progress on where we’re at. And the coaches the same.

“I think we’re developing our game plan to another level, and that’s probably the challenge for us –how much can we improve? How much can we drive our standards? How much can we execute on the little things?

“Personally, I’ve had a completely uninterrupted pre-season this year, so I’m feeling really strong and really fit, which is a really good start for me, mentally as well as physically.

“I just want to keep building on what I’ve been trying to build the last few years.

“I couldn’t be enjoying it any more than I am.

“People here are incredible . . . I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than at Richmond.”