At the start of this year, following 20 seasons of AFL football in the 2000s, we asked you to help us come up with the Tigers’ Team of the 21st Century so far. We put together a squad of 40 players from which we wanted you to select your best 22. To assist with the selection process, we also provided a profile and statistical analysis of each squad member. Only players that had appeared in a minimum of 50 games at senior level with Richmond during the 2000s were considered eligible for selection. After collating all the line-ups you compiled, the Tigers’ Team of the 21st Century is complete. We’re now announcing one player per day, in positional order from the backline, until all 22 are revealed. We continue our gradual release today with the announcement of the side’s centre half-back – Alex Rance.
On-field position: Key defender
Games in the 2000s (2009-19): 200
Playing honours/achievements: Member of 2017 premiership team, 2015 Jack Dyer Medal winner, five-time All-Australian representative – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, All-Australian captain 2017, Club co vice-captain 2017-19
Top 10 finishes in Jack Dyer Medal: Eight – equal 6th in 2011, 6th in 2012, 6th in 2013, equal 7th in 2014, 1st in 2015, 2nd in 2016, 2nd in 2017, 6th in 2018
AFL career averages
Contested possessions: 6.2
Uncontested possessions: 9.6
Score involvements: 1.2
Metres gained: 105.5
Comment: Had a slow start to his AFL career at Tigerland, but worked extremely hard to become the competition’s premier key defender and one of the greatest in the game’s history. Combined elite athletic traits with bravery, boldness and a fierce competitive nature. Consistently nullified the opposition’s best key forwards in one-on-one duels, yet also relished the opportunity to run off them and launch counter-attacks for the team. The five-time All-Australian was an intercepts juggernaut. At times, it looked like he’d formed an impenetrable, one-man wall across Richmond’s backline, such was his dominance.