Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt will play on for a remarkable 17th AFL season, after putting pen to paper on a new deal on Tuesday.
The three-time premiership Tiger says he’s “excited” to go around again, after taking a pay cut to stay at the club.
“I’m going around again next year which is really exciting,” he revealed on AFL360.
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“I feel really embarrassed how much this has blown up a bit. I’m just an old codger who’s got to the end of my career that’s just going to roll around again.
“I’m really proud there was no quick decisions – it was made together. The club still sees me as a serviceable player and I still think I’ve got plenty to play for.
“I’m playing my role and I’m excited to play and excited about the future of where the football club looks.”
Riewoldt joked he was left with two minute noodles for dinner after signing his new deal.
“The financial side of it, was the thing for ticking off – it wasn’t an argument about money, it was what’s left in the pie to keep the club stable, and pay for me next year which is probably the most insignificant thing,” he said.
“I’ve been very lucky to have been paid extremely well for a long period of time now.
“I’m not playing for any sort of financial gain really – I’m playing for another premiership.”
Riewoldt, a three-time All Australian and three-time Coleman Medallist, has been one of the Tigers’ most durable players since 2009.
Excluding his tough 2019 campaign where he was restricted to just 13 games due to a PCL knee injury, Riewoldt has managed 287 AFL games of Richmond’s possible 295 in one of the most remarkable runs.
Riewoldt only sits behind Swan Lance Franklin for current players in the AFL’s top goal kickers list, with 755 to his name.
He is just 23 goals behind Tigers great Kevin Bartlett and 45 behind Matthew Richardson – and could become Richmond’s second best forward of all time by playing on in 2023.
But Riewoldt admitted he’s focused on developing Richmond’s youngsters next year.
“I’ve known what it’s like to be a sole key forward in a football club, and I feel like I add value to (teammate Tom) Lynch’s game. And I’m really excited about what my role is – I may not play every game. I’ve got to help evolve the group into the next period of time,” he said.
Riewoldt already sits second in Richmond’s all-time games played list.
He is just one of five players still active in the AFL from the 2006 draft – alongside Travis Boak, Joel Selwood, Todd Goldstein and Tom Hawkins.
Riewoldt’s decision comes just hours after fellow Tigers veteran Trent Cotchin announced he too would play on in 2023.
The former skipper was one of Richmond’s best this season, averaging more than 22 disposals a game and finished second at the Tigers for contested ball.
“The plan probably was not initially to go again, but I think that changed for a number of reasons; one my body and also that you are a long time retired, I had that nagging away in the back of my head,” he explained.
“Something that really came to fruition this year as well was the joy it brought my kids. Having that additional purpose of not just trying my best for me and for our team, but also playing and really enjoying the journey of AFL footy and the Richmond Tigers (with them).
“As you get closer to the end of your career, you don’t know when it is going to come but I feel as though I contributed from a football point of view relatively well for the majority of the season.”