Matthew Rogers is Richmond’s first Homecoming Hero for 2016 . . .
The Tigers will honor Rogers in the pre-game build-up at this Saturday night’s Round 6 clash with Port Adelaide at the MCG.
Rogers, who was held in such high esteem throughout his 11 seasons at Tigerland because of the many first-rate qualities he possessed, will walk to the Punt Road end of the ground to receive the plaudits of the Yellow and Black faithful.
He will then proceed to kick a ceremonial goal, before signing the football and presenting it to a Richmond fan in the crowd.
Highlights of Rogers’ fine career with the Tigers also will be shown on the MCG’s screens.
Matthew Rogers was a talented, young utility player with SANFL club South Adelaide, when he attracted the attention of the Tiger talent scouts.
He was subsequently selected by Richmond with its fourth pick (No. 37 overall) in the 1992 AFL National Draft.
But Rogers, who had made his senior debut for South Adelaide during the ’92 season, felt he wasn’t quite ready to make the move to the AFL at that stage, and opted to spend another year in the SANFL.
It turned out to be a fairly wise decision by Rogers, who had an instant impact in his debut season at Richmond in 1994.
Playing predominantly as a half-forward and wingman, Rogers kicked 26 goals, received an AFL Rising Star nomination, and shared the Club’s Best First Year Player award with fellow South Australian Jamie Tape.
Rogers went on to become one of the Tigers’ most reliable, versatile and valuable performers over the course of the next decade.
With his mobility, marking ability, courage, goal sense, and clever football brain, he was successfully used in a variety of roles, including half-forward, half-back, on-ball, wing, and even full-forward.
When Richmond’s superstar spearhead Matthew Richardson suffered a season-ending foot injury in Round 4, 2000, it was Rogers who stepped up as his replacement.
Rogers responded in his typically unobtrusive, but effective style, finishing the season with 37 goals, and winning the Michael Roach Medal, as the Club’s leading goalkicker.
Later in his league career, Rogers thrived in the role of an on-ball ‘tagger’. His ability to shut down the competition’s best midfielders became a major asset for the Tigers.
Basically, wherever there was a hole that needed to be filled in the Richmond line-up, Matthew Rogers invariably was the player they invariably turned to – and he delivered for them on an impressively consistent basis.
He was the archetypal quiet achiever – a player that went about his football business with minimum fuss, but maximum efficiency.
Rogers’ overall contribution to the Yellow and Black cause throughout his AFL career was immense, and he was a highly popular, integral member of the side.
Matthew Rogers profile
Playing weight: 90kg
Draft history: Taken by Richmond at pick 37 overall in the 1992 National Draft
Guernsey number at Richmond: No. 4
Debut at Richmond: Round 1, 1994 v Footscray, Western Oval
Games at Richmond (1994-2004): 197
Goals at Richmond: 163
Honors at Richmond: Equal winner of the Best First Year Player award in 1994, winner of the Leading Goalkicker award in 2000 (37 goals)