The Richmond Tigers are set to farewell another premiership hero, with key forward Jack Riewoldt believed to be announcing his retirement from the AFL on Tuesday morning. It continues a major changing of the guard at Richmond, with premiership captain Trent Cotchin announcing his own retirement the week prior.
Like Cotchin, Riewoldt will be hailed by Tigers fans as part of the core that delivered them a drought-breaking premiership in 2017, followed by further grand final triumphs in 2019 and 2020. Riewoldt has kicked 786 goals in his 346 games to date, third most in Richmond history behind only the likes of Matthew Richardson and Jack Titus.
It emerged on Tuesday morning that Riewoldt had informed teammates that this would be his last season, giving Tigers fans one last opportunity to salute himself and Cotchin in Melbourne this weekend before their season ends a week later when they travel to face Port Adelaide. The Tigers' loss to St Kilda last weekend effectively ended their chances of making the top eight in 2023.
The three-time Coleman Medal winner was fundamental to the Tigers' premiership aspirations under Damien Hardwick, who himself walked away from the club earlier this year. He was Richmond's leading goalkicker no less than 11 times, and also a frequent contender for mark of the year courtesy of some unbelievable aerial efforts over the years.
Picked 13th by the Tigers in the 2006 AFL draft, the cousin of St Kilda champion Nick quickly went about ensuring his mane would not be limited to comparisons with the Saints star. The arrival of Hardwick in 2010 forced Riewoldt to change his approach to the game, and while there were challenges, the results cannot be denied.
There were early signs of Riewoldt's dominance under Hardwick, notably when he kicked 10 goals against the West Coast Eagles back in 2021. On social media, fans flocked to remember Riewoldt's litany of great moments and pay tribute to the three-time premiership player.
Man, it’s going to feel real different going to Richmond games and not screaming for Jack to take a mark or kick a clinch goal. He’s been an iconic part of a wonderful era. We’ll miss you immensely Jack Riewoldt. #GoTiges #JackRiewoldt #AFL
— Faouzi Daghistani (@fdaghistani) August 14, 2023
This one is going to hit hard. Jack Riewoldt wore his heart on his sleeve and became a Tigers legend. 3 X flag, AA & Coleman. I also think changed that game, he may not have invented the around-the-corner kick, but he normalised it. #gotiges #talkingtigers
— Paul Cartwright🐯 (@paul3182) August 14, 2023
Hell of a career from Jack Riewoldt. Been following his progress since his Tasmania days in the VFL. Really great player from then through to now.
— Moss (@Melburnian) August 14, 2023
Firstly like Cotch I wanted #JackRiewoldt to play forever. Like many he's an absolute favourite & so special to our family.
However he has always been the smartest footballer I've seen & this decision is the right one at the right time.
A legend of our club. Thank you Jack.💛🖤🐯 pic.twitter.com/itJPggbgCI
— Ando (@Tigers_of_Old) August 14, 2023
jack riewoldt 🥲🥲 what a career 🏼
— josh daicos supremacy (@grundyisbae) August 14, 2023
I love Jack Riewoldt I’m going to miss him in yellow and black so much
— nic (@NicJones9) August 15, 2023
Jack Riewoldt retires after fellow Richmond great Trent Cotchin calls time
Riewoldt's retirement comes a week after a similar announcement from long-time teammate Cotchin, who is also hoping to have recovered from a calf injury for one more hitout in front of the Tigers faithful. The premiership skipper missed last weekend's loss to the Saints, but is aiming to be fit for when the Tigers take on North Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.
Alongside Hardwick, Riewoldt and powerhouse midfielder Dustin Martin, Cotchin helped resurrect the Tigers from a middling club to an AFL powerhouse in the late 2010s.
The three-time club best and fairest holds the record for the most games played as captain of Richmond with 188, having first taken on the role as a 22-year-old back in 2012. He is the first Tigers captain to lead the club to three premierships, and said his time at the club had taught him a wealth of valuable life lessons.
“I accept reality and that my chapter has come to an end. My body is somewhat slowing down and is older than it once was,” said Cotchin.
“I found my life purpose at Richmond. I look to the future with nothing but excitement, adventure, and opportunity, because of what I found here at Richmond and what Richmond people taught me.
“Finding out that creating an environment to help other realise and fulfil their potential not only inspired me but helped me to overcome my own fears. I found the move from ‘I’ to ‘we’ and that to be interested not interesting was so much more fun.
"I learned the power to dream big at Richmond, to say why not me. Why not us? And why not now.
“I have always given my best and left no stone unturned, in my dad's words. I have strived to make every post a winner.”
More to come
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