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Dustin Martin, Richmond captain, Trent Cotchin, stats, greatest of all time, next captain, Garry Lyon, Nick Riewoldt, On The Couch, AFL 360

Dustin Martin has already ticked off virtually every achievement in the game – but two AFL greats think there’s one more step he is capable of taking in his already-successful journey to footy immortality.

With Trent Cotchin turning 31 next month, very few could hope to fill the shoes of the three-time premiership captain once he decides to hang up the boots or hand over the captaincy.

However, with Martin a year and change his junior, Melbourne great Garry Lyon saw for the first time in Round 1 what the three-time Norm Smith Medallist could still become if willing.


“I just felt like I was watching the next captain of the Richmond footy club materialise right before my eyes and I would have never thought that about Dustin Martin,” he said during On The Couch.

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“His ascension to greatness is done, he’s going to be there already, but the rubber stamp might be he takes over from Trent Cotchin and what a beautiful hand over that is from Cotchin to Martin then he leads a team to a premiership.

“Then he might become irresistible (as the greatest player of all time) but he just looks like he’s got a leadership that has developed and developed and developed and now just oozes out of him and I reckon it might have snuck up on a few but I do think that this could be the next captain of Richmond.”

On Tuesday night, pressed during AFL 360‘s ‘real or over-reaction’ segment, co-host Gerard Whateley was asked for his take on the Martin hypothesis.

“My flinch reaction to this was ‘over-reaction’ only because of the public facing part of the job … if he wanted to he’s more than a capable public performer,” he said.

“I think he would have to be part of it as well as obviously has leadership in spades.”

Whateley’s co-host for the night, St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt, has unique insight into the debate – he had an extensive interview with Martin earlier this year for Fox Footy’s Nick & Dusty – One on One.

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Riewoldt explained why he was all in on captain Martin, pointing to his actions in a pre-season game.

“I think they could tailor it perfectly to him. So the public facing the media stuff, you do that as a group, you take care of that as a group,” he said.

“I was shocked when I went out at quarter-time and three-quarter-time in the pre-season game at just how vocal Dusty was.

“That is not a trait that I associated with Dustin Martin – he was assertive, he was demanding, he was articulate, he was supportive, all of the things you would want in a great captain of his teammates and why not, it’s the last box to tick, have a throw at the stumps.”

As fate would have it, Riewoldt’s cousin and Richmond star Jack Riewoldt joined the show shortly after and helped add even more credence to the possibility.

“I think he’s got some amazing leadership capabilities and with the right team around him he could captain the football club,” he said.

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