When Richmond takes the ground later today to kick off the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition finals against the Hawthorn Hawks at MCG, Dustin martin will mark the occasion of his 200th senior game, although it does not seem to have made much of an impression on him to achieve that milestone.
Even if he were not accustomed to winning every award imaginable, including the 2017 Brownlow Medal last year, what really jumps off the screen when you look at his nine years in the AFL is that he has never failed to play at least 20 games per season. At the end of the 2018 home-and-away season, Martin had 199 games under his belt in the span of nine seasons.
His 22.11 average games per season are simply remarkable, as the season is only 22 games in length. Yes, that figure is boosted by the Tigers playing finals, particularly last year, when Martin made the ground for every one of Richmond’s 25 games.
Tonight’s 200-game milestone might seem like just another day at the office for a player who has banked all of his personal days.
Martin needed just 3087 days from his debut to arrive at the cusp of game number 200. In that entire span, Richmond has played 204 games.
He trails on Joel Selwood and Harry Taylor in terms of the time required of modern era players to reach the 200-game milestone.
Of Martin’s durability, Richmond Coach Damien Hardwick told afl.com, “Francis Jackson was the head of [recruiting in 2009] and he was always very confident this kid was going to be a star of the competition,” Hardwick said. “He also works incredibly hard at his craft, he’s always looking to improve an area of his game, and that’s what makes him one of the great players of the competition.”
Martin’s work ethic has seen him rise into contention for this year’s Brownlow Medal, but his eye seems on the main prize, another premiership for the Tigers.