If five years ago you had suggested Richmond would one day be mentioned in the same sentence as the great dynasties of the AFL era – Brisbane, Geelong and Hawthorn – you would have been laughed out of whatever room or even building you were in.
Richmond utility Shaun Grigg has called time on his AFL career, paving the way for the Tigers to add to their list in the mid-season draft.
Richmond premiership utility Shaun Grigg has announced his immediate AFL retirement, paving the way for the injury-hit Tigers to add to their list through the mid-season draft.
Grigg played a key role in the Tigers’ 2017 flag triumph as a midfielder who also battled in the ruck at times despite standing at just 190cm.
But knee and hip issues have prevented the 31-year-old from playing this season.
The Tigers have been decimated by injuries this season with Toby Nankervis and Jack Ross the latest additions to a casualty list that already includes stars Trent Cotchin (hamstring), Alex Rance (knee) and Jack Riewoldt (knee).
Nankervis (groin) and Ross (ankle) were hurt during Sunday’s win over Fremantle in Perth and both face lengthy stints on the sidelines.
Clubs can only add to their list mid-season to fill vacancies created by players retiring or being added to the long-term injury list.
Rance, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in round one, would be an obvious candidate to go on the long-term list but the Tigers haven’t given up on the five-time All Australian defender making a stunning late-season return.
Grigg made 214 AFL appearances – 43 of those for Carlton – and played in every game of the Tigers’ premiership campaign.
“It’s been amazing to play 13 seasons of league football with two great clubs,” he said.
“I’ve loved my football journey, and feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to play this great game.
“Although it’s difficult to make the decision to call time on my own career, it may give the club a chance to provide someone else an opportunity.”
Tigers football boss Neil Balme said Grigg had been a valuable contributor on and off the field.
“We’ve loved the way he’s gone about his football – always bringing a team-first attitude to the roles we’ve asked him to play,” Balme said.
“He brings a lot of fun to the club, and has built great connections to his teammates, staff and coaches, and we will miss him.”