Cotchin leading with blue-collar AFL ethic

Trent Cotchin has won Richmond's Jack Dyer Medal three times.

Trent Cotchin has won Richmond's Jack Dyer Medal three times.

Trent Cotchin is the clean-cut Richmond captain with the blue-collar AFL attitude.

In his fifth season as Tigers skipper, Cotchin has gone up a level this season and his leadership has been a key factor in their resurgence.

It was on full display in their outstanding qualifying win over Geelong, when Cotchin used his body as a battering ram and negated Cats star Patrick Dangerfield.

Cotchin would have been best afield if it wasn't for teammate Dustin Martin.

The starring performance banished questions about how Cotchin performs in finals.

Teammate Josh Caddy, who joined the Tigers this season from Geelong, said Cotchin had adjusted his game after enduring plenty of criticism over the years about his captaincy.

"What Trent's done is he's just wanted to be that leader in terms of the blue-collar stuff, the tackling, all the hard stuff," Caddy said.

"He got hammered last year, and probably throughout his career, about his leadership style.

"This year he's taken it upon himself to put the club on his back and just go out there, do all those hard things every week."

Caddy noted that Cotchin's own numbers might not reflect his profound influence on Richmond.

"Statistically, he's probably had his worst season," Caddy said.

"But in terms of his influence on the team and our team success, he's had his best year by far."

He has averaged 23.6 disposals per game, down on last year's 27.

But his tackle count for this season is a career-best 126 over 23 games, an average of 5.47.

That is well up on last year's 92 tackles in 20 matches, at an average of 4.6.

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