Dusty presents Dimma dilemma
Forward or midfield for Martin the choice for Richmond coach
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-
KEY MAN: Brownlow Medallist Dustin Martin prepares for the grand final.