WHAT has been a momentous week already for Richmond’s Dustin Martin has the chance to become a whole lot sweeter on Saturday afternoon.
Martin – whose footballing journey has included time spent at Campbells Creek, Castlemaine and the Bendigo Pioneers – looms as one of the AFL grand final X-factors when he lines up for the Tigers against Adelaide at the MCG.
Already this week Martin, 26, has etched his name into footballing folklore by polling a record 36 votes to win the Brownlow Medal on Monday night.
Now a premiership with the Tigers is on the offering, and who knows… perhaps a Norm Smith Medal as well?
Given the remarkable season the explosive 26-year-old goalkicking midfielder has produced this year, it seems nothing is out of the question when it comes to Martin.
So dominant has he been this season, the revered Leigh Matthews said of Martin on radio station FIVEaa earlier this month: “It’s easy to make big statements, but no player has ever had as good a year, I suspect, as Dustin Martin.”
And it seems given the manner Martin has handled all the attention that has come his way this season is no different to the same way he was as an 18-year-old draft hopeful, who had already developed a big profile long before his name was called by Richmond with pick No.3 in 2009.
“You just do what you’ve got to do. I don’t get a big head or anything, I just keep going about my business,” Martin told the Bendigo Advertiser on the eve of the 2009 Draft.
On Saturday Martin’s business will be in the middle of the MCG playing his part in trying to lead Richmond to its first premiership since 1980 and becoming the ninth Bendigo Pioneer draftee to play in a flag.
The MCG on the last Saturday in September – it’s a stage tailor-made for Martin.
Luke West – sports reporter