Richmond star rebounding defender Bachar Houli’s excellent return from a calf injury in last Thursday night’s season re-opener against Collingwood has led to him polling the equal-most votes for the drawn Round 2 match in the 2020 AFL Coaches Association’s Champion Player Award.
Houli missed the Tigers’ Round 1 victory over Carlton back on March 19 because of the calf complaint and suffered a slight setback with it during the ensuing competition shutdown.
He was in doubt for the clash with the Magpies up until a few days out, but took his place in the line-up and subsequently produced a trademark top-class display across half-back that captured the attention of rival coaches Damien Hardwick (Richmond) and Nathan Buckley (Collingwood).
The 31-year-old received eight votes after finishing the match with a team-high 26 disposals, equal team-high eight marks, three tackles, a game-high nine intercepts and 343 metres gained.
Inspirational Richmond captain Trent Cotchin was the other Tiger to appear in the coaches’ votes for Round 2.
Cotchin was given four votes for his excellent performance on the night – 23 disposals, including a game-high six inside-50s, team-high seven clearances, four intercepts, five tackles and a team-high 412 metres gained.
The full voting details for the Round 2 Richmond v Collingwood match are:
8 – Bachar Houli (Richmond)
8 – Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
8 – Taylor Adams (Collingwood)
4 – Trent Cotchin (Richmond)
2 – Jeremy Howe (Collingwood)