Star Richmond midfielder, Trent Cotchin, has entered the ranks of the competition’s elite ‘ball magnets’, following a sixth successive match racking up 30-plus possessions.
Cotchin had 31 touches in last Friday night’s 17-point victory over St Kilda at the MCG – 22 of them coming in an inspirational second-half performance.
The new Tigers’ captain had 33 possessions the previous week, in the thrilling opening round win against Carlton.
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He finished off the 2012 season with 35 possessions in a big Round 20 win against the Western Bulldogs, 32 in a Round 21 loss to Fremantle, 31 in a Round 22 victory over Essendon, and 31 in a draw with Port Adelaide in the final home-and-away round.
As a result, Cotchin stormed home in the Brownlow Medal count to take equal-second placing behind Essendon’s Jobe Watson.
In recent times, only a handful of players have bettered Cotchin’s 30-plus possession performance – Brownlow Medal pair Gary Ablett and Dane Swan, Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), Matthew Boyd (Western Bulldogs) and Dayne Beams (Collingwood).
Ablett, now Gold Coast’s captain, had 30 possessions or more in the opening nine games of his final season at Geelong, in 2010 (the year after winning the Brownlow).
Swan twice achieved the extraordinary sequence of 10 consecutive 30-plus possession games. He did it from Round 11-20 in 2010 and then from Round 14-23 of the 2011 season, in which he won the Brownlow Medal.
The champion Collingwood on-baller also managed to gather 30-plus possessions eight times in-a-row in both the 2009 and 2012 seasons.
Mitchell had 30 touches or more seven games on-the-trot during the 2011 season, while Boyd managed eight consecutively in 2010 and Beams also did it eight times in-a-row last year.