Dustin Martin
Dustin Martin has been breaking personal bests in the gym in Richmond pre-season training. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Tigers star Martin setting personal records in the gym

Oliver Caffrey December 19, 2023

Richmond superstar Dustin Martin is setting personal records in the gym and inspiring his Tigers teammates in his 15th AFL pre-season.

The triple Norm Smith medallist is determined to prove to new Richmond coach Adem Yze he remains one of the AFL’s elite players.

Yze is just the second full-time coach Martin has had in the AFL after being led by Damien Hardwick in his debut season in 2010 until the middle of this year.

Martin, who is entering the final year of his seven-season contract, suffered a heavy knock during Richmond’s training camp in Gippsland but was later cleared of concussion.

Destructive Tigers defender Jayden Short insisted Martin had returned from the off-season break in “unbelievable” shape in an ominous sign for the rest of the competition.

“When you get a new coach, everyone’s got to impress again,” Short said at Punt Rd on Tuesday. 

“It’s been good for our young boys, they get to impress a new coach and certainly us older boys as well.

“The way Dustin showed up was amazing. 

“He’s coming into his 15th year of AFL and he’s setting PBs (personal records) in the gym and his running’s certainly always improving as well. 

“He’s a great role model for everyone at this football club and I’m just lucky that I get to play alongside him and get to watch him go about his business every day.

“It makes us all want to get better when you see one of the best players in the competition always trying to get better. 

“It’s hard not to want to better yourself, he’s an awesome footballer, but an even better person so we’re very lucky.”

Key forward Tom Lynch is slowly working his way back into training, taking part in modified drills during a session in front of the Punt Rd faithful on Tuesday night.

Lynch was ruled out for the remainder of the 2023 season after injuring his foot against the Western Bulldogs in round four.

“It’s been a long time for Tom and for anyone who has spent a long time in rehab it’s pretty painful,” Short said.

“But his attitude throughout the whole time has been second to none. 

“Just rocking up every day with a smile, he’s been amazing. 

“It’s good to see him back running and I’m looking forward to being able to kick it to him again.”