THE Tigers are on their way up the Calder – hopefully, with Dustin Martin as part of the AFL reigning premier’s convoy that will be calling Bendigo home for the next two days.
Richmond is splitting its playing group between Bendigo and Echuca for its two-day AFL Community Camp that begins on Monday, but as to which players will be going where hasn’t been released by the Tigers in the lead-up.
Given his links to Campbells Creek, Castlemaine and Bendigo that have all played a part in Martin’s journey to becoming one of the biggest names in the game, it would be a disappointment if Martin isn’t part of the Tigers’ Bendigo contingent.
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Martin is the reigning Brownlow medallist, Norm Smith medallist and – most importantly of all – a Richmond premiership player, who before becoming a Tigers’ superstar displayed his prodigious talent on the ground where Richmond will hold an open training session on Tuesday, the QEO.
Martin graced the QEO with the Bendigo Pioneers and also in the Bendigo Football-Netball League with Castlemaine, where he burst onto the scene in senior football as a 16-year-old in 2008, winning the BFNL Rising Star Award.
Five years ago when Carlton came to Bendigo for its Community Camp in February of 2013, the Blues were minus their superstar Chris Judd, who according to the club’s media manager was “not feeling well”.
Hopefully, Bendigo doesn’t again miss out on the rare opportunity for one of the superstars of the AFL to come into its backyard – particularly one whose sporting journey has ties to one of the very locations the Tigers will be spending the next two days.
The Tigers are doing a lot of good work in Bendigo with the Bendigo Thunder and Next Generation Academy Program, but their Community Camp just wouldn’t be the same if Martin wasn’t part of it.