Matthew Richardson (Australian rules footballer)


Matthew Richardson (Australian rules footballer)

Infobox afl player NEW
playername = Matthew Richardson
fullname = Matthew Richardson
nickname = Richo
image capt = Matthew Richardson playing for the Dream Team


birthdate = Birth date and age|1975|3|19|df=y
birthplace = Devonport, Tasmania
originalteam = Devonport
draftpick = Father-Son Selection, 1992
AFL Ric
heightweight = 195cm / 104kg
position = Full Forward/Center Half Forward/Wing
dead =
deathdate =
deathplace =
currentclub = AFL Ric
guernsey = 12
years = 1993
clubs = AFL Ric
games(goals) = 276 (791)
coach = notcoach
coachingteams =
statsend = R22 2008
careerhighlights = AFL
* AFL Rising Star Nominee (1993)
* All Australian (1996, 1999, 2008)
* Alex Jesaulenko Medal 1996
* International Rules 1999
* Tasmanian State of Origin Representative 1993
* Dream Team Representative 2008
* Third in 2008 Brownlow Medal [Polled 22 votes] Richmond
* Club Leading Goalkicker (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
* Richmond Team of the Century
* Richmond Best and Fairest 2007

Matthew "Richo" Richardson (born 19 March 1975), is a professional Australian rules footballer who plays for Richmond in the Australian Football League. He has been the club's key forward through the late 1990s and the 2000s, the club's leading goalscorer thirteen times and has been selected in the all-Australian team in 1996, 1999 and 2008.

He has the second most goals in the history of the Richmond Football Club and the eleventh most goals in the history of the VFL/AFL competition.

Career

Educated at St. Brendan-Shaw and Don Colleges in Devonport, Tasmania, Richardson was the fourth pick (a father-son selection) in the 1992 AFL Draft, and was recruited from Devonport, Tasmania. Combining a 196-centimetre frame with exceptional speed and athletic capacity for a large man, on his day he has been a dominant presence for the Tigers. Suffered a serious knee injury (Torn left ACL) in a collision with the fence in Round 9, 1995 vs Sydney at the SCG and missed the rest of the season after reconstructive surgery on his knee, including the Tiger's finals series. This meant he would have to wait until 2001 to experience September action. In 1996 he came back strongly, playing all 22 games and finished with 91 goals (49 behinds), earning All Australian selection for the first time. Since then he has become one of the most dominant forwards in the game despite suffering from a perceived inaccuracy in front of goal and occasional injuries. He often kicks goals better from long range.

In 2004, a decision to step back involvement in the Tigers' "leadership group" (the small group of senior players who help lead the club on and off-field) and focus on additional strength training paid off, with a flurry of goals in the early part of the season including a career best 10 against the Western Bulldogs. His 10th goal in that game was a spectacular snap from the boundary line that sent the crowd into a frenzy. However this was to be Richmond's last win of the year as they lost their next 15 games in a row. Richardson finished with a tally of 65 goals for the season.

In 2005 under the coaching of Terry Wallace he kicked 65 goals again, this time with much more consistency throughout the season.

In 2007, in a match against the Essendon Football Club, 'Richo' earned the widespread respect of the football community by playing the game with a fractured eye socket and broken nose sustained only a week before. He still managed to kick four goals, and what appeared to be a match winning fifth until the umpire awarded a controversial free kick against him.

In the same year, he won his first ever club best-and-fairest, beating young gun Nathan Foley by a single vote.

Richardson is currently ranked second in the AFL for the most marks ever taken in recorded history, sitting on 2210 behind Stewart Loewe who has 2316. [ Ranked 1st in Total Marks in 2008 with 222]

In 2008 he equaled Saverio Rocca's (Collingwood/North Melbourne) career goal tally of 748. Equal 12th on the all time VFL/AFL goal kicking list He then went on to equal Kevin Bartlett's record of 778 in round 12 against Melbourne. After 276 games, he has booted 791 career goals and 538 behinds and has taken 2,210 marks.

Richardson has been one of the most beloved players the Richmond Football CLub has known.His sensational marking ability, coupled with his talent for big hauls of goals has led him to lead Richmond's goal kicking 13 times. He has also earnt 3 All-Australian gurnseys and won 1 Best and Fairest award. His phenomenal stamina places him among the elite runners of the AFL, often providing leads of over 100 metres. Tracking devices worn on match days shows his total distance covered in the game, which is always around 14km. His strength and contested marking is arguably his best attribute, and many times he has topped the contested marks list at the end of the year. Although his accuracy in front of goal has let him down at times, 'Richo's' endeavor and high work ethic has endeared him to fans. He will go down as one of Richmond's all time greats, and also as one of the game's most entertaining and spectacular forwards.

Trivia

Richardson currently holds the record for the most goals kicked at the Melbourne Cricket Ground [ [http://stats.rleague.com/afl/venues/mcg.html#05 AFL Tables - M.C.G] ]

He is the son of former Richmond and South Melbourne player Alan "Bull" Richardson. His sister, Samantha, is married to retired North Melbourne footballer Jade Rawlings who now coaches the Coburg tigers in the VFL. Matthew Richardson also prefers to have his socks pulled up to his knees instead of pulled down to his ankles. He has played in the midfield when Richmond are struggling to win the clearances.

References

External links

*Richplayer|ref=14007
*AflRleague|ref=M/Matthew_Richardson.html
* [http://www.yellowandblack.info/forums/showpost.php?p=23855&postcount=1 Feature story from 2005 on Matthew Richardson at the Yellow and Black Supporters Forum and Website]


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