Player Watch #9: Trent Cotchin is an obscenely good 3 x Premiership Captain, Victorian Captain & Brownlow Medalist

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Nov 23, 2000
Country Victoria
AFL Club
Still no Ticket for you Robbo.In fact you can go back to the end of the que!

Mark Robinson on how Trent Cotchin became the best captain in the AFL
In 2015 Mark Robinson wrote that Trent Cotchin should consider stepping down as Richmond captain. Four years later he explains why the premiership star is arguably the best leader in the AFL.
Mark Robinson, Herald Sun
Subscriber only
October 4, 2019 4:54pm

Tigers dismiss dynasty talk
AFL: Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt says his side is dismissing talk of a Tigers 'dynasty' after their Grand Final win.

It’s the end of the 2015 season, Richmond has lost three consecutive elimination finals and Trent Cotchin is poor in two of them.
The Tigers should consider stripping him of the captaincy, I write: “Is he the right man to lead the Tigers? Has he the mental balance/capability to be a great captain and a great player? Has he the aura, presence and inspiration?’’
Got that one wrong. Four years later, Cotchin is a two-time premiership captain.
Interestingly, Cotchin conceded at the end of the 2016 season — a wretched one for Richmond — that he considered stepping down as captain.
“We were struggling on the field, Richmond legend Neville Crowe died and, as I’ve said before, I felt I was trapped under a black cloud at the end of that season,” Cotchin has said.
“I got to the end of 2016 and that was probably rock bottom for me.
“In some ways 2016 might have just been a blessing dressed up as a nightmare in disguise, as it gave us an opportunity to truly reflect on ourselves and work out what it was we really wanted and then really challenge how we were thinking.

“There’s an old expression that fisherman use that goes, ‘Sometimes you have to let the tide go out to see where the rocks are’. I think it’s a great analogy to sum up 2016.”
In the three seasons since “rock bottom”, Cotchin, now 29, is arguably the best captain in the AFL.

It depends how you judge best.
Best player? No. Best highlights reel? No. Best media performer? No. Most feared Richmond player? No.
Most influential player in a Tigers era that has garnered two flags and who knows how many to come? Yes.
Trent Cotchin savours his second premiership as Richmond captain.
Trent Cotchin savours his second premiership as Richmond captain.
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The player who changed his leadership style, who steered the culture change at the club, who changed his role to improve the team and not his numbers? Absolutely.
Unquestionably, the transformation from doubting tiger to Tigers legend is complete.
“My respect for Trent has gone through the roof for what he’s done,” teammate Jack Riewoldt says.
“I’ve actually attached myself to some his life philosophies.”
Riewoldt, who is now vice-captain and was the suggested replacement for Cotchin after the 2015 season, tells two stories about Cotchin from the 2017 season.
The first we know.
Cotchin was the first player to stand up and deliver the trademark Tigers HHH sessions — Heroes, Hardship and Highlights — that were the cornerstone of the campaign.
“It was definitely a wow moment,” Riewoldt says.
“There was brutal truth about it and automatically when someeone speaks like that, you do some reflection yourself.
“When his playing days are done and dusted, it will be his legacy. His authenticity, his vulnerability, his ability to bring the best out of everyone else, to make them feel comfortable to speak about hardships ... when blokes are afraid of maybe breaking down in front of the group.
“As a player, he was probably playing with a little bit of burden, that he was constantly feeling he was always been judged about playing a certain way, or doing a certain action, or not leading the team in a certain way, and trying to be the perfect leader.
“The last three years, the fact he’s embraced the imperfection and embraced the fact he’s going to get s--- wong, has made him into a better player.”
Trent Cotchin says he hit ‘rock bottom’ in 2016.
Trent Cotchin says he hit ‘rock bottom’ in 2016.
Trent Cotchin celebrates his Grand Final goal.
Trent Cotchin celebrates his Grand Final goal.
The other story is less known.
For 2017, the Tigers had to make on-field adjustments.
“Yeah, we changed a few things to our game plan and we needed someone to play that defence-minded midfielder,” Riewoldt says.
“Trent put his hand up to do it.
“There aren’t too many blokes going around who have got a Brownlow Medal and the coach says, ‘Hey, we’ve got an idea about how to make us a better team and it probably involves you getting a little less of the ball, but trust us, it will make us a better team’.
“And Trent did that.”
Riewoldt won’t offer specific detail about the role, other than to say it was highly valued internally.
“Kicks, marks and handballs are stat-fillers and people look at those and that’s what people probably judge best players on, but without sounding too disrespectful, they aren’t educated on the way the modern game is played. The actual little stuff is rewarded inside.”
Such as the appreciation of defensive and offensive running, pressure, shutting down the switch, the role of the defensive half-forwards, and actions without the ball.
“I wouldn’t say appreciated, I’d say celebrated,” Riewoldt says.
He describes Cotchin’s leadership style as “one of openness and acceptance”.
“Dustin Martin wouldn’t be the player he is today if he didn’t have Trent Cotchin, I can guarantee you that.
“Dusty is pretty spiritual, not the religious kind of things, but the calmness level that Trent has in his life. They’re attracted to that. That’s why they get on really well,” Riewoldt says.
Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale has a favourite Grand Final moment.
It was Cotchin’s missile tackle on Shane Mumford on the Southern Stand wing, which was not unlike his missile tackle on Geelong’s Rhys Stanley on the members’ wing in the preliminary final.
“It was my highlight of the Grand Final, that tackle,” Gale says. “He’s got a habit of making big tackles at big times. He’s been doing it for years. He’s got a habit of big symbolic tackles.
“There was all the talk about the Giants and unsociable footy, but to wrest the momentum and flip him over, it was four or five minutes into the first quarter.
“He flies the flag with his physicality.”
Trent Cotchin sets the tone for the Tigers with a huge tackle on Shane Mumford.
Trent Cotchin sets the tone for the Tigers with a huge tackle on Shane Mumford.
Riewoldt agrees: “He’s a tough bastard, a genuine tough bastard.”
Gale has seen the lows and highs since taking the top job at the club in 2009 and the past three years can best be described as euphoric, disappointing and emphatically satisfying.
In that same time, he’s watched Cotchin become the leader who now ranks with Dan Minogue, Jack Dyer, Percy Bentley and Royce Hart as the club’s greatest.
“Looking back now, we asked a lot of Trent,’’ Gale says. “He was captain at 22 and even before that, he was almost destined to be captain. So, he always had the mantle and he took on the responsibility of that and ultimately became captain.
“When you’re inexperienced, you think to be a leader you’ve got to be dominant, you have to play well, you have to impact the game. That was the way Trent felt he had to be be perfect.
“Through the shared struggle and through success and failure, through trial and error, and ultimately through reflection, he learnt the true essence of leadership.
“It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being you.
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“And once he was more accepting of his whole self, and was willing to invest himself in others, and building that trust and connection ... that’s the true essence of leadership.”
The perfect illustration of that, Gale said, was Cotchin’s dedication to helping Martin win the Brownlow Medal.
“It’s not so much about me, me, me, the pressure, the responsibility, having to lead and having to do the right thing, because that can be a huge burden, and we might’ve seen that in finals.
“The focus from that to accepting who I am, and being courageous to invest in my whole self and in others, and then lead the charge ... well, the rest is history.
“And because he’s captain, that approach goes through the place like dominos.”
Writing for the Athletes’ Voice, Cotchin reveals his initial leadership position was to “show the perfect example”.
“Now, I believe you need to be true to yourself and true to others.
“You need to give permission to guys to be honest about anything and everything in their lives.”
Brothers in arms ... Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin after the Grand Final. Picture: Michael Klein
Brothers in arms ... Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin after the Grand Final. Picture: Michael Klein
The skipper played 14 games this season, missing three chunks because of a hamstring injury.
Not once did Gale see him tripping over his bottom lip.
“What I noticed this year was him buzzing around the place, a smile on his face, a sense of optimism all the time,” he says. “I saw a buoyant, positive presence.”
Asked how history will record Cotchin, Gale says: “As a representative of our footy club, as a captain, we couldn’t ask for anyone to represent our club better.
“He’s a great guy, got great values, lives a good life.
“He’s a two-time premiership captain, he’s grown and evolved his leadership under fierce public scrutiny and prevailed.
“Our leadership is broad and very deep and Trent has been instrumental in cultivating that.”
Another of Gale’s favourite moments of the Grand Final was Cotchin’s goal deep in the final quarter.
“It was a thrilling goal, but it was unusual (celebration). I normally see him hunch the shoulders, hunch the back, the rolling gait, running back towards the centre, but no, there was plenty in it, wasn’t there?
“It was an exclamation mark.”

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Aug 24, 2017
AFL Club
In this clip just watch the elbow and hand of Prestia in the face of mummy , Making him feel the ferocious tiger intent
love the fact he did that

that campaigner was talking sh*t all week in the media about how he was going to try and hurt people than we had two of the smaller midfielders in the comp put him in his place

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