Trent Cotchin is set to equal the record for most games as Richmond’s captain in Friday night’s qualifying final against Brisbane at the Gabba.
The dual Tigers premiership skipper will draw level with Percy Bentley, who captained the Club in 168 games from 1932-1940, including the ’32 and ’34 Grand Final triumphs.
Cotchin has been Richmond’s permanent captain since 2012, but he captained the team for the first time in Round 4 of the 2010 season against Melbourne at the MCG (replacing injured skipper Chris Newman), at just 20 years of age.
Senior club advisor Neil Balme paid tribute to Cotchin’s inspirational captaincy on Richmond’s podcast ‘Talking Tigers’.
“He made it hard for himself in the earlier days . . . he put too much pressure on himself and I get the feeling what he did, he sat in front of his mates, the players, and said, I want to be the best captain I can be for you blokes. Let me know if I’m doing something that’s not quite right,” Balme said.
“So, all of a sudden, he accepted, in today’s terminology, his vulnerability and he became a far better captain because whatever happens, happens, but I’m going to do my best for them.
“He’d be terrific to play under as a player, I’ve got no doubt whatsoever.”
Balme also highlighted Cotchin’s immense value to the team in his midfield role.
“You don’t need him to get 35 touches, but you need him to get the ones he gets,” Balme said.
“He’s such a bull . . .
“We’ve just got that lovely balance in there (the midfield), I think, and he’s an important part of it.
“Other players will get the ball more often in a game, but they won’t have more impact than he does.”
Cotchin also will join Bentley in leading the Tigers into the most AFL/VFL finals series – seven.
Richmond captains in most AFL/VFL finals series
7 – Percy Bentley (1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940), Trent Cotchin (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020).
5 – Jack Dyer (1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1947).
4 – Royce Hart (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975).