Edwards' 100th homecoming a day of mixed emotions
Monday 2 July 2012
THE occasion of Shane Edwards' 100th AFL match was a mixture of emotions for the popular club man.
For starters, his team, Richmond, let slip a golden opportunity to roll one of the AFL's pacesetters, Adelaide on Saturday. A fast start had the Tigers enjoy a handy lead in their Round 14 match in Adelaide. But the resilient Crows showed why they're rated a solid chance to push deep into September with an eventual 19-point win.
But on a personal level, Edwards (pictured) could reflect on a journey that's had its fair share of ups and downs but one that is now on an upward trajectory.
Edwards, 23, played his milestone match at home. He was recruited by Richmond from SANFL club North Adelaide in 2006.
Edwards has played a central role in the Tigers' promotion of Dreamtime at the 'G, he being one of just a handful of Indigenous first-22 footballers at Tigerland in recent times.
The South Australian recruit played his first game at AFL level in Round 4 of the 2007 season against the Western Bulldogs. Richmond lost that game, too.
It took 15 more games before Edwards could finally belt out the famous Tigers' theme song when his side rolled Collingwood.
In 2010, in Richmond coach Damien Hardwick's first season, Edwards' potential began to be realised when he won the Club’s Most Improved Player Award.
He has since remodelled his game to be a constant threat as a hard-running, hard-tackling midfield forward.
With big gun Jack Reiwoldt alongside him, Edwards has chipped in with 14 goals this season to be in his side's top five goalkickers.
"I think this year it's been more about playing your role and trying to do your job every week," Edwards said in the lead-up to his 100th game at the weekend.
"He (Damien Hardwick) gives me a lot of confidence, just through the amount of opportunities he’s given me over the last couple of years."
Ever the modest type, Edwards deflected the attention back on to the Tigers.
"I'm just happy to be given the opportunity to play for such a great club," he said.
Last Modified on 02/07/2012 15:02