Dash­ing Pick­ett a Tiger for life

Mercury (Hobart) - - AFL - JON RALPH

MARLION Pick­ett’s lifechang­ing premier­ship hero­ics will be capped with life mem­ber­ship at Richmond’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on Mon­day De­cem­ber 9.

And with Pick­ett al­ready back train­ing at Punt Road and set­tling into Mel­bourne life, his friends are won­der­ing what he is ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing in his first full sea­son of AFL.

Pick­ett’s sin­gle AFL game saw him be­come a premier­ship player who ran third in Norm Smith Medal vot­ing, with the flag au­to­mat­i­cally mak­ing him el­i­gi­ble for Tigers life mem­ber­ship.

He will join Tom Lynch, Liam Baker, Shai Bolton, Jay­den Short and Ivan Soldo as first-time Tiger premier­ship play­ers who didn’t play in the 2017 premier­ship.

Mid-sea­son re­cruit Pick­ett’s for­tune came in com­par­i­son to St Kilda leg­end Trevor Barker, who played 230 AFL games with­out a sin­gle fi­nal.

The Tigers will again de­clare a phe­nom­e­nal profit off the back of bumper rev­enue, the league’s high­est home at­ten­dances (59,987) and mer­chan­dise sales from the premier­ship.

Last year’s club net profit was $4.21 mil­lion af­ter a $3.06 mil­lion profit in the 2017 sea­son, with the Tigers last year stat­ing their cash re­serves of $13.7 mil­lion.

Richmond’s $60 mil­lion rede­vel­op­ment of Punt Road will be helped by that fi­nan­cial haul, with the Tigers still seek­ing ex­tra govern­ment fund­ing for the up­grade.

The devel­op­ment will house the club’s in­dige­nous academy — the Korin Ga­madji In­sti­tute — as well as Bachar Houli’s Academy for young in­dige­nous play­ers.

Pick­ett and his wife Jess have set­tled into Thorn­bury with their four chil­dren af­ter he signed a one-year deal with the Tigers late in the sea­son.

Pick­ett’s abil­ity to el­e­vate his game on the big stage stunned the foot­ball world.

But his man­ager An­thony van der Wie­len said yes­ter­day it was ex­actly the kind of per­for­mance he had churned out in the WAFL.

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