Brendan Fevola claims shot down as Trent Cotchin lifts lid on wife's gesture for Dustin Martin

Former Richmond captain Cotchin has shed new light on his former teammate.

Richmond coach Adam Yze has dismissed suggestions from Brendan Fevola that Dustin Martin will walk away from the Tigers after his 300th AFL game on Saturday. Fevola made staggering claims last month that Martin will 'temporarily' retire after his 300th game and sit out the rest of the season, before joining the Gold Coast Suns and former Richmond coach Damien Hardwick in 2025.

But on Thursday, Yze was quick to shut down those claims and said Martin was "100 per cent" committed for the rest of 2024. “If you watched his last three weeks, other than the week we gave him off, he’s committed and starting to play some really good footy," Yze said. "I’ve got no doubt he will finish out the season.

“There’s always going to be that around (his future) and this week it’s highlighted because he’s playing his 300th, and like I’ve said all along, we just want him enjoying his footy and he’ll make that decision at the end of the year or as that gets closer. Right now we want to celebrate him and he can get to the end of the year with a clear mind.”

Dustin Martin and Brendan Fevola.
Brendan Fevola reckons Dustin Martin will 'retire' from Richmond after his 300th game and then join the Gold Coast Suns in 2024. Image: Getty

Meanwhile, Richmond champion Trent Cotchin has paid a heartfelt tribute to Martin, lifting the lid on how close the former teammates and their families are. Martin will play his 300th game at the MCG on Saturday, but the Richmond star has held firm in his stance of not talking to the media.

The AFL had been hoping Martin would hold a press conference this week to discuss the milestone, but that won't be happening. And not even great mates Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt have been able to convince Martin to do a one-on-one interview with Channel 7 or Fox Footy.

Trent Cotchin and wife Brooke alongside Dustin Martin.
Trent Cotchin and wife Brooke are particularly close with Dustin Martin. Image: Getty

Discussing Martin on Channel 7 on Wednesday night, Cotchin shed new light on the kind of person that Martin is off the field and said he knows why he is so unwilling to open up to fans and the media. “He’s one of the most grateful humans that I know,” Cotchin said.

“And he’s spent many a moments across his career where, whether it’s a trying time or the highs of highs - which, we all know, there have been plenty of them for him - gratitude has been something that has lit him up. He’s just an incredible human, to be honest.

“So many people want to hear from him, and there’s a big reason why I would love for him to tell more of his story, (but) there’s obviously no reason why we would put the pressure on him to do so. He’s already inspired so many kids out there today, but more of the depth of his story will inspire an even wider demographic of people. He is one of those guys that is just brilliant with reading - whether it’s in a game scenario or in a room with a group of the boys - he just has this way of lighting up a room with story and engaging and making people feel really welcome."

Cotchin elaborated on how close he and his family are with Martin, and how wife Brooke invited Dusty into their family home at the start of his career. “The love that my family have for his as well is a credit to the person that he is," Cotchin said.

“He values loyalty and love. He is one of those people that, yes, he is the life of the party, whether that be in the change rooms or when he’s out and about and having a couple of quiet beers, but he is just one of those special people that make you feel better about being around because he does bring people together.

“It was probably a moment in time when Brooke, my wife - we weren’t married at the time - she suggested that it’d be a great idea if Dusty moved in with us when he was going through a bit of a rough patch early on. He moved in with us for three or four weeks, and that was probably where I started to understand that you can be so different, but you can learn so much from each other. And Dusty’s taught me more about life than I’ve had the opportunity to teach him about life and I’ll be forever grateful for those lessons.”

Dustin Martin, pictured here with Trent Cotchin and his family in 2023.
Dustin Martin with Trent Cotchin and his family in 2023. Image: Getty


Leading reporter Tom Morris revealed on Monday that Martin had knocked back requests from Cotchin and Riewoldt for an interview. “That (a press conference) is not going to be happening,” Morris said. “Something ridiculous would need to change. The people I speak to, in and around Dusty, say there’s no chance.

“Jack Riewoldt at Fox is probably the last hope, but nothing has been locked in yet and it’s Monday of the 300th week. Dusty would just like to float through and play on Saturday. He has told people around him that he would like to thank the fans, and I think most fans would agree that the best way for him to do that would be on game day."