The saying “Good things come to those who wait” certainly applied to talented, young Richmond tall forward/ruckman Callum Coleman-Jones at Giants Stadium in Sydney today.
Coleman-Jones, playing only his second AFL game, and first for just over two years, produced a highly-impressive performance for the Tigers in their Round 11 victory over Adelaide.
The 200cm, 21-year-old took five marks (an equal game-high four of them contested), kicked four goals, and underlined the considerable potential he possesses to be successful at the game’s highest level.
“I struggled a bit in the first quarter just getting my legs back. Haven’t played senior footy for a long time. And then started getting into the groove of the game,” Coleman-Jones told Fox Footy post-game.
“It was good obviously to kick the first goal and have the boys get around me.”
Coleman-Jones agreed that it had been important for him to remain patient while he plied his football trade in the VFL.
“Oh, definitely, especially being at a good club like this where it’s never easy to get a game when you’ve got great players like ‘Lynchy’ (Tom Lynch) and Jack (Riewoldt) in front of you,” he said.
“But I’ve always just had the mindset that I’m going to be a better player in the long run playing at a club like this.
“So, I’m happy to do my time, and when my opportunity comes, I was just happy to take it.”
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was delighted with how well Coleman-Jones performed in his long-awaited return to senior ranks.
“We’ve always known he could play the game, it’s just that opportunity to get him in the side . . . With Tom (Lynch) going out injured, it has provided an opportunity for CJ to show his wares,” Hardwick said.
“I thought he was terrific . . . He’ll build on that.
“There are some things in his game we thought were terrific, but there’s also some areas that we think he can improve moving forward.”