Richmond have officially named VFL decider best-on-ground Marlion Pickett in their side to take on the Giants in this Saturday’s AFL grand final..
— Richmond FC ???? (@Richmond_FC) September 26, 2019
Mark Robinson of the Herald Sun, Fox Footy’s Tom Morris and Peter Ryan of The Age originally reported Pickett would be included in Richmond’s side when named later this evening.
He is set to become the first person to make their debut in a grand final since Keith Batchelor did so for Collingwood in 1952.
Pickett, 27, was selected by Richmond from South Fremantle in the WAFL with pick no.13 in this year’s inaugural mid-season draft following Shaun Grigg’s injury-forced retirement.
He recently won the Norm Goss medal as best afield in the VFL grand final, collecting 20 disposals and nine tackles.
His tackling pressure around the ball makes him a handy replacement for the injured Jack Graham, who has been an important defensive force in the Tiger midfield this season.
Upon recruiting him initially, Richmond recruiting manager Matt Clarke had this to say to the club website.
“We’ve liked his talent for a number of years, playing a lot of half-back, but probably moving into the midfield last year at South Fremantle and showing he can be a really strong presence in there as a clearance player, he’s really good aerially, and can really kick the ball a long way, so we’re really excited.
“He’s played a lot of footy now at WAFL-level and we think his body is conditioned to that, but he hasn’t actually been belted around a little bit at AFL-standard, so we think there’s a little bit more left in him.
“You never put an end limit on his time with us, so we think that he’s got a lot of footy left in him.”