Published on September 23, 2019 10:24 am

Pickett’s rapid rise continues

Marlion Pickett’s rapid rise to prominence in the football world continued with his Norm Goss Medal-winning performance in Richmond’s VFL premiership victory on Sunday – and the journey may not be over yet.

The 27-year-old was a key factor in the Tigers holding off a fierce late Williamstown challenge to triumph by three points in a classic Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL ‘Love the Game’ Grand Final at Ikon Park.

Pickett was selected by Richmond with pick no.13 in May’s NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft from South Fremantle, which incidentally was defeated by 96 points in the weekend’s WAFL Grand Final. At the time, he had a broken finger that prevented him playing for the Tigers until Round 18 of the VFL season.

Six games later, the versatile 184cm midfielder/forward was named best-on-ground in Richmond’s VFL Grand Final win, recording an equal-team-high 20 disposals, 11 contested possessions, nine tackles (a game-high) and four inside-50s as well as booting the first goal of the match.

 

His strength around stoppages and presence moving forward has him being talked about as a possible debutant in Richmond’s AFL team for its Grand Final clash with GWS this Saturday.

“Whatever happens, happens (regarding the AFL Grand Final),” Pickett said following the VFL decider. “It would mean a lot, and it if happens then I’d be over the moon. If it doesn’t, I’m not too fussed about it.

“I was just worried about today and getting a good win for the boys, especially for (retiring AFL-listed player) Mav (Weller) in his last game.”

Pickett has taken little time to slot into his new team environment, averaging 17 disposals, 10 contested possessions, three tackles and three inside-50s per game for the VFL Tigers prior to the Grand Final.

He played a pivotal role in Richmond’s stunning comeback victory from 40 points down at three-quarter-time against Essendon in their qualifying final, kicking two majors from 22 touches to help see the Tigers through to a preliminary final against Port Melbourne.

Seemingly a big-game player, Pickett couldn’t have done much more to put his name alongside the likes of Kamdyn McIntosh and Jack Ross as potential Richmond AFL inclusions this week should the injured Jack Graham and Nathan Broad fail to be passed fit.

“I don’t know (if I’m a big-game player),” Pickett said. “I just like to play footy.

“It felt awesome (on Sunday). I just did the team thing and it was a good team effort.

“I’m stoked for where I’ve come from and I’m enjoying it (at the Tigers).”

Richmond VFL senior coach Craig McRae said it would be a good story if Pickett was able to become the first player to make his AFL debut in a Grand Final since 1952.

“The last couple of games in last quarters we’ve needed someone to step up and Marlion’s been that guy,” McRae said on Sunday.

“He likes the big occasion and we were lucky to have him (against the Seagulls).”

 

 

NORM GOSS MEDAL VOTING

Herald Sun / Leader Newspapers – Toby Prime

3 – Marlion Pickett (Richmond)

2 – Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Richmond)

1 – Nick Ebinger (Williamstown)

 

Casey Radio – Brendan Rhodes

3 – Marlion Pickett (Richmond)

2 – Dan Butler (Richmond)

1 – Steve Morris (Richmond)

 

Channel 7 – Campbell Brown

3 – Marlion Pickett (Richmond)

2 – Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Richmond)

1 – Riley Collier-Dawkins (Richmond)

 

SEN – Leigh Brown

3 – Marlion Pickett (Richmond)

2 – Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Richmond)

1 – Mitch Hibberd (Williamstown)

 

TOTAL

12 – Marlion Pickett (Richmond)

6 – Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Richmond)

2 – Dan Butler (Richmond)

1 – Steve Morris (Richmond)

1 – Nick Ebinger (Williamstown)

1 – Mitch Hibberd (Williamstown)

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