Dusty presents Dimma dilemma

For­ward or mid­field for Martin the choice for Rich­mond coach

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS -

ADE­LAIDE knows the value of a skil­ful mid­fielder be­ing parked in front of the big sticks dur­ing a grand fi­nal.

The Crows had the ben­e­fit of the mer­cu­rial Dar­ren Jar­man dur­ing their back-to­back pre­mier­ship years of 1997 and 1998.

While An­drew McLeod would claim suc­ces­sive Norm Smith Medals as the bestafield in those de­ciders against St Kilda and North Mel­bourne, re­spec­tively, Jar­man was the true match­win­ner on both oc­ca­sions.

Jar­man had won a flag in his first AFL sea­son in 1991 with Hawthorn, but strug­gled on the day, gath­er­ing just five touches – and kick­ing one be­hind – while be­ing com­pletely blan­keted by Ea­gle back­man and fu­ture Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna.

Un­der the coach­ing of Mal­colm Blight, the 1995 All-Aus­tralian cen­tre­man would re­deem him­self on the big­gest stage for the South Aus­tralians, the part-time for­ward boot­ing six goals in the 1997 pre­mier­ship de­cider, in­clud­ing five in the fi­nal term, and an­other five 12 months later.

The Crows now face the prospect of a mid­field su­per­star be­ing the game-breaker in at­tack at their ex­pense.

Dustin Martin has won ev­ery­thing in footy this sea­son ... so far.

All that’s left are pre­mier­ship and Norm Smith medals to go with his MVP and Brown­low honours.

Martin was cat­a­lyst for the Tigers’ pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal win on Satur­day against GWS.

He booted three goals and set up numer­ous oth­ers as he roamed the Tigers’ for­ward half, al­ways ready to pounce.

He got his club into the play­offs as the game’s most dam­ag­ing mid­fielder, but could en­sure it wins its first flag in 37 years as the most dan­ger­ous for­ward.

To go with his 715 dis­pos­als and a league-lead­ing 147 for­ward-50m en­tries this sea­son, he has slot­ted a career-high 35 ma­jors, rank­ing him sec­ond at the club be­hind its lone tall for­ward Jack Riewoldt (52) and ahead of speedy smalls Dan But­ler (29), Dan Ri­oli (25) and Ja­son Castagna (25).

Martin spent 61% of Satur­day’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against the Giants in at­tack. The most he had spent there pre­vi­ously was just 41%.

He fin­ished with game-

PHOTO: JOE CASTRO/AAP

KEY MAN: Brown­low Medal­list Dustin Martin pre­pares for the grand fi­nal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.