Dustin Martin in major development at Richmond amid eye-opening call from Adam Yze

The Richmond legend's workload is set to be managed for the remainder of the 2024 season.

Richmond superstar Dustin Martin is set to spend plenty of time on the sidelines in what could be his final AFL season, as Tigers coach Adam Yze looks to manage the veteran's workload. Fresh off of a mid-season bye, the Tigers (2-12), resume against old rivals Carlton at the MCG on Sunday before facing Fremantle six days later.

Yze says Martin, who turned 33 on Wednesday, at this stage of his career isn't in the position to play both matches. It means the Tigers star will most likely miss the Dockers clash, which comes after the first of three six-day breaks in five weeks for the club.

Dustin Martin faces more time on the sidelines in the second half of the AFL season as coach Adem Yze manages his workload. Image: Getty
Dustin Martin faces more time on the sidelines in the second half of the AFL season as coach Adem Yze manages his workload. Image: Getty

The Richmond coach says the club will sit down with Martin in the coming days to talk about which games he will play and which he will sit out for the rest of the 2024 season. "We'll sit down with him and work out a plan," Yze said of Martin on Thursday.

"He's going to be one of those players that we've got to decide with (because) we're starting to prepare for eight-day breaks and six-day breaks. If he plays this weekend there will be a high risk that he might not be able to play against Freo. So we'll sit down and try to map out a plan for a lot of those older guys, and he'll be one of those."

Martin was given a week off before playing his 300th AFL game in a loss to Hawthorn immediately before the bye. The three-time Norm Smith medallist was given an emotional send-off after the milestone match, in what some believed could be his farewell game. Martin, however, quashed those concerns by returning to Punt Road after the bye and appears set to play out the rest of the season at Richmond.

Martin's manager Ralph Carr confirmed earlier this month that several AFL clubs had enquired about his services for 2025 and says he believes the AFL great will play at least one more year. “I am hoping so," he said on 3AW radio earlier this month. "We often have those discussions at the end of the year and we don’t like to talk about it during the year so it’s one of those things."

Leading reporter Caroline Wilson says the Tigers are waiting for Martin to inform them of whether he'll be playing on before offering a contract extension. "They want him to play for the next two years or for the next year and help the younger guys," Wilson said on Channel 9. "He hasn't said that yet."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15: Dustin Martin of the Tigers recognises the crowd after his 300th match during the 2024 AFL Round 14 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at The Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 15, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Dustin Martin does a lap of honour after his 300th match.

But Wilson and Kane Cornes both believe Martin's recent performances don't warrant an extension. "He didn't look like a player you'd give a two-year contract to," Wilson said. "He kicked one brilliant goal at the start of the game and that was it."

Cornes added: "He had a lot of (James) Sicily who got 10 coaches votes and who exposed him the other way. I'd want to see a lot more, certainly with his motivation, can he buy in for a pre-season? Does he want to set the standards? Is he prepared to not win many games for the next couple of years? And I'd want to see an increase in his performance. It's the perfect time for him to retire."


There have been rumours Martin has his sights set on re-uniting with former Richmond coach Damien Hardwick on the Gold Coast. According to Brendon Fevola, his manager has been looking for real estate on the Gold Coast on behalf of Martin as the Tigers legend weighs up the possibility of being a Suns player in 2025.

with AAP