Dan Butler - the one that got away

Remove this Banner Ad

DustinsGuns

Premiership Player
Jun 30, 2012
3,746
7,427
AFL Club
Richmond
Butler was the worst of our small forwards last year which sounds bitter but was true. Always tried don't argues and little soccer kicks and knocks to himself which would never work out.
I always like to watch former tiger players though and he has been sensational this year for the saints. His 2020 performances would easily eclipse any Richmond small forward. I think he is keeping it far simpler this year which is a credit to the saints coaches.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Ricmel

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 13, 2009
5,045
3,582
AFL Club
St Kilda
Wasn't a big wrap on him at Richmond and thought he was steak knives. Been a revelation to me. Don't know if he was always this good or has just come of age but right now he is the recruit that has changed the look of the Saints structure.
 

OhhDeledio

Club Legend
Jul 30, 2014
2,686
5,278
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
he was rubbish last year for us. many times he did things that made me want to put my foot through the tv. was like 5th in line for our small forwards so it was fair for him to be moved on. hes been unreal for the saints though, really glad hes playing well.
 

juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
19,826
25,113
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
New York Jets
I'll give you the answer.

Butler was pivotal to a new Richmond gameplay in 2017, his tackling and hitting the scoreboard with 30 goals for the year. Part of the crew with Castagna and Rioli that changed the way we played and gave us a flag.

Sometime over 2018 and 2019 however, Butler went Hollywood. His focus changed from doing the hard running at pace, tackling that he was known for, and he become lazy, wanting to get on the end of work rather than force the issue himself, and he wanted the flashy finishing stuff and not to do the hard yards.

Secondly, over 18/19 Richmond had an influx of decent small forwards who could all play that role. Higgins, Edwards, Stengle, Bolton, among others, these guys all started competing for small forward spots. Also, Martin started spending a lot more time forward, and the intro of Lynch meant that there was one less spot for smalls in 2019 as well.

The Tigers were strong over 18/19, and Butler struggled to crack into the side. It's not as if he couldn't crack into a bottom 4 side, the side he couldn't get into won the Grand Final by 89 points.

From that, Butler requested a trade for opportunity to a side he knew needed speed and some personnel change. No difference than what happens every year, and often a change of scenery can do them the world of good and give them the kick up the ass they need. Grigg or Houli anyone?

If he pulled his finger out and went back to working hard, he could always improve and play good footy. Good to see him doing that now. The club has to honour the trade request though when a guy can't get a game, I hope he succeeds.
 

harrythetiger

Jack Graham That Is 🏆
Sep 13, 2015
13,687
36,957
Hillary Step
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
76ers
Didn’t provide us much in 18/19 after a wonderful 2017. Stopped applying the heat and we’ve got a glut of small forwards. Fair enough to him for chasing opportunities elsewhere.
Stoked he’s been able to have a real impact at the saints. Would prefer he’d give his old club a chop out though.
 

AstuteTiger

Club Legend
Mar 22, 2009
2,624
3,020
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
No thread about this (surprisingly) but it's still mind blowing as to why Richmond let this guy walk out on their club. 2017 premiership star who reminded his old club today of how good he is.

Neil Balme and co must be spewing.
Yeah nah if you saw him in 2018 and especially in 2019 you would realise why we let him go.
I'm rapt for him that he has once again pulled his finger out. Playing really well kudos to Butts but i honestly don't think anyone is losing sleep over it.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Enclosed_Animal

All Australian
Jun 14, 2015
928
6,807
Sandringham
AFL Club
St Kilda
As a Saints fan it is interesting to read the above. We certainly don't want to get too carried away too soon.

But … 7 goals 5, 3 goal assists & 12 I50 tackles in 4 games (with shortened quarters) is one hell of a return.

Keep that up across 17 games and he will be a walk up start for AA. Long way to go yet of course, but if he keeps doing the hard work (and not the flashy garbage noted above), he might just be the bargain buy of the year
 

master bate

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2006
13,487
11,457
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
Had some injury issues the last couple of years as well didn't he?

I'm not surprised the Tigers let him go. You can't keep out of contract players who have fallen outside your best 22 and have other offers. Was anyone saying last year that Butler was better than Rioli and Bolton?

The bigger surprise to me was the lack of interest from other clubs. Carlton apparently were keen but then not as much once they committed to Betts. The Saints then were kind of the choice by default, they didn't have to pay much (pick 56) at all.

I would've thought he'd be a cheap Puopolo replacement for the Hawks, the Dogs and Dees both used first round picks on small forwards to fill a need and could've done with a mature option, North don't really have a dangerous crumber unless you count Zurhaar (who can be that but is more versatile and would pair well with a speedy small), Essendon could do with the depth if Orazio is going - which seems to be the case every trade period.

I was surprised there wasn't more of a market to at least drive the trade price up to a better 3rd round pick and I assume to add some dollars and years to Butler's contract. If the Saints have got him on a cheap deal as well they've done very well.
 

Lsta062

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 15, 2014
13,143
26,166
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Chelsea
He was always talented and it wasn’t talent that kept him out of the side. He was just not performing for us. If someone no longer performs at a club, then they may need to go to another club to refresh.

It also shows that our depth was genuinely good in terms of small forward talent over 18/19 unlike what sone people thought.
 

PetterdHoisted

Premiership Player
Apr 27, 2014
3,978
5,803
AFL Club
Richmond
I'll give you the answer.

Butler was pivotal to a new Richmond gameplay in 2017, his tackling and hitting the scoreboard with 30 goals for the year. Part of the crew with Castagna and Rioli that changed the way we played and gave us a flag.

Sometime over 2018 and 2019 however, Butler went Hollywood. His focus changed from doing the hard running at pace, tackling that he was known for, and he become lazy, wanting to get on the end of work rather than force the issue himself, and he wanted the flashy finishing stuff and not to do the hard yards.

Secondly, over 18/19 Richmond had an influx of decent small forwards who could all play that role. Higgins, Edwards, Stengle, Bolton, among others, these guys all started competing for small forward spots. Also, Martin started spending a lot more time forward, and the intro of Lynch meant that there was one less spot for smalls in 2019 as well.

The Tigers were strong over 18/19, and Butler struggled to crack into the side. It's not as if he couldn't crack into a bottom 4 side, the side he couldn't get into won the Grand Final by 89 points.

From that, Butler requested a trade for opportunity to a side he knew needed speed and some personnel change. No difference than what happens every year, and often a change of scenery can do them the world of good and give them the kick up the ass they need. Grigg or Houli anyone?

If he pulled his finger out and went back to working hard, he could always improve and play good footy. Good to see him doing that now. The club has to honour the trade request though when a guy can't get a game, I hope he succeeds.
Perfect summary, I remember him doing an brainfart act that left the door open for the Hawks in early 2018 that nearly cost us 4 points, and more of the same crept in from then on, people don't react mentally to success in predictable ways.

but we can never forget that he and Castagna particularly were virtual unknowns in early '17 when they had an entire team gameplan rested on their shoulders (with Rioli), and were then central to the most improbable premiership in living memory.

He kicked the clincher in the '17 prelim against the Giants, for me the toughest single team I can remember taking the field against our club.

Then his classy check-side finished the '17 GF and made Gale, and many of us, cry tears of joy.

This bloke is in our pantheon, ultimate respect, so happy he has turned things around at the Saints, just really wonder why Carlton weren't in for him. Yet another cost of the SOS chaos?
 

Top Bottom