Richmond coach Damien Hardwick wants to see Dustin Martin take more flying marks in 2018.Damien Hardwick wants to see Dusty fly.
The Richmond coach nominated big marks as an area where Dustin Martin could potentially improve on last year’s stellar AFL season.
Martin had one of the great individual seasons, setting aside speculation about his playing future to win the Brownlow Medal.
He then won the Norm Smith Medal as best afield in Richmond’s premiership triumph.
It’s difficult to see where Martin could boost his game, given last year’s heroics, but Hardwick said he would love Martin to fly for a few big grabs.
“The great thing about Dustin is he comes with an area (where) he’d like to improve,” Hardwick said.
“One area straight away is probably his marking inside 50 … I haven’t seen him take a speccy at all.
“I haven’t seen him get off the ground trying to take a mark so that will be a highlight for me this year if he can get that part into the game.”
Also on Tuesday, Hardwick said young star Daniel Rioli had had a medical plate removed as he continued to recover from his serious AFL grand final injury.
Rioli had the operation on his foot last week and coach Damien Hardwick said the small forward continued to make good progress.
While there has been speculation about Rioli being available for round one, the Tigers will take no risks with his comeback.
“He’ll be a little way away – you’ve got to remember, he’s had a pretty signifcant injury,” Hardwick told the AFL website.
“He’s a very important player for us … so we’ll take it pretty slowly with Daniel.”
Rioli returned to running last month for the first time since the grand final.
Hardwick said the premiers were likely to start the season with the same unusual forward set-up that worked so well for them during last year’s finals.
Jack Riewoldt was their sole key forward, with the Tigers’ manic pressure overcoming the lack of another marking option inside 50m.
Hardwick said while potential key forwards such as Mabior Chol, Callum Moore and Ivan Soldo were training well, they had to prove themselves worthy of a senior berth.