In the wake of the AFL’s 2019 national draft, Tony Greenberg provides Yellow and Black barrackers with some tasty Tiger tidbits.
Richmond’s trend of recruiting sons of players from other AFL clubs has continued with its drafting of Hugo Ralphsmith.
The 18-year-old, taken by the Tigers with their fourth pick (No. 46 overall) in the 2019 national draft, is the son of Sean Ralphsmith, who played a total of 34 senior league games from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s (four at Hawthorn and 30 for St Kilda).
Throughout the past couple of decades, Richmond has secured the services of the sons of North Melbourne’s Jim Krakouer (Andrew Krakouer) and Keith Greig (Matt Greig, supplementary list), Essendon’s Dean Hartigan (Brent Hartigan), Hawthorn’s Michael Tuck (Shane Tuck), Carlton’s Wayne Deledio (Brett Deledio) and Footscray’s and West Coast’s Murray Rance (Alex Rance).
The Tigers’ 2019 draftees performed impressively at the AFL draft combine back in early October.
First pick Thomson Dow finished third in the agility run with a time of 8.061 seconds, second selection Noah Cumberland was fifth in the 20-metre sprint (2.931 seconds) and eighth in the agility run (8.208), third pick Will Martyn was ninth in the two-kilometre time trial (6.16) and Hugo Ralphsmith finished equal fifth in that 2km time trial (6.12) and equal fifth in the running vertical jump (86cm).
In the AFL state draft combine, Richmond’s fifth and final pick in the 2019 national draft, Bigoa Nyuon, also produced some eye-catching efforts. Nyuon won the 20-metre sprint with a time of 2.855 seconds and finished equal third in the running vertical jump (92cm).
Thomson Dow finds himself among a unique band of players in Tigerland’s AFL/VFL history.
There have been only 14 players with a three-letter surname to appear at senior league level with the Tigers – G.F. May (1911), Les Lee (1913), Donald Don (1917-18), Arthur Fox (1917-18), Robert Hay (1942), Keith Rae (1946), John Nix (1949-56), Graham Cox (1952-56), Lance Cox (1954-55), Stephen Rae (1973-74), Mark Lee (1977-91), Chris Pym (1988-89), (Brad Fox (1993) and Matt Dea (2010-15).
Three of those players were Richmond premiership team members – Don (1920, 1921), S. Rae (1973) and M. Lee (1980).
Dow has become the first player drafted by Richmond from NAB League club Bendigo Pioneers for a decade.
The Tigers’ previous Pioneers draftee was a handy type by the name of Dustin Martin, who was their first pick (No. 3 overall) in the 2009 AFL national draft.
And Hugo Ralphsmith is Richmond’s first recruit from NAB League club Sandringham Dragons since Ty Vickery in the 2008 national draft.
Will Martyn hails from the same Brisbane football club as his new Tiger teammate Mabior Chol.
The pair came up through the ranks at Aspley, which has produced several other AFL current players, including Sydney’s Aliir Aliir, Melbourne brothers Josh and Corey Wagner and Brisbane duo Harris Andrews and Eric Hipwood.
Brisbane Academy pair Will Martyn and Noah Cumberland further enhance the strong Sunshine State connection at Tigerland.
Assistant coaches Justin Leppitsch and Craig McRae were both Brisbane Lions triple premiership players.
Newly-appointed VFL coach Xavier Clarke had a brief playing stint at Brisbane.
Tiger premiership trio Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy and Tom Lynch started their AFL careers with the Gold Coast Suns.
Another Richmond assistant coach, Andrew McQualter, spent a couple of seasons playing for Gold Coast.