Richmond captain Trent Cotchin reflects on the special bond he shares with Tiger teammate and 300-gamer Shane Edwards.
Words from Trent Cotchin
I lived with Shane and one of our other teammates, Kane Johnson, in my first couple of years at the club and ‘Shedda’ (Edwards) and I instantly developed a very special relationship.
When I look back on our careers, one of my favourite moments with Shane was sitting at the front of the bus on the way back from Brisbane to the Gold Coast after we had won the 2020 premiership against Geelong at the Gabba.
Reflecting on our journeys, we literally chewed the fat all the way home on the bus from the Gabba to our base at KDV Sport on the Gold Coast and just reminisced on some of the stories that were really special and unique.
There were our trips to Echuca together, thinking about the players that had gone before us – the Tucky’s (Shane Tuck) of the world – and the people who had a real impact on our journey who weren’t still at the club, but contributed to making the Richmond Football Club so great.
The environment they created allowed us to nurture our own skills and behaviours and reflecting on those memories with Shane on the hour bus ride is something I remember so vividly.
While we were living together he accused me of stealing a bottle of aftershave called ‘Jean De Paul’ or whatever the name on the bottle read.
I, however, know that I didn’t steal it, because I had exactly the same bottle as him. It’s now an ongoing joke between us and I recently purchased him a voucher when we had to buy a gift for our ‘ultimate teammate’.
It’s something we still often laugh about and to this day he hasn’t let me forget about it.
Shane is clearly an insanely talented player and because he sees the game so well he’s forever coaching on field, positioning players who are young and might not necessarily have the same experience that he has.
It’s the connection he builds with players across our list that helps us foster the amazing culture we have established at the Tigers.
When he does touch the ball he always makes something pretty special happen, with those unique handballs he sometimes slides off to the side of his hand or over the top of a pack.
I think he sees the game a couple of steps ahead of than most. Even defensively, we reference the way he stalks an opposition player and to be referenced in nearly every defensive meeting is obviously something that we value.
He’s always been hugely valued and loved within our four walls and maybe still to this day hasn’t been recognised fully to what he brings to our team by those externally.
Although, it’s great that over the last few years he has been getting those accolades.
The thing I love about Shane’s journey from an Indigenous heritage perspective is that I’m not sure how well connected he was with his family history in the early part of his career.
But the investment that he’s made to understand and acknowledge his family’s past and the impact he can have on future generations has been really inspiring and I think it’s really helped some of our young indigenous players that have come into the club, because they have a really strong Indigenous spokesperson who can voice opinions and what they value and some of the lessons that they’ve learnt along the way
It’s been incredibly valuable for our footy club and organisation to hear those perspectives from him.
To play 300 games is a wonderful achievement and to be so consistent across all of those 300 games is a credit to him.
As much as the milestone is about Shane, it’s about Sam (his fiancée), his parents, his brother and all the people who have been on that journey with him.
He’s the one who puts his boots on every weekend, but it takes so much more to get to this point in his career and he’d be a person who would be incredibly grateful for the support that he’s received from his loved ones and I’m sure they’re all extremely proud of what he’s achieved to date.
Hopefully there’s more special memories to come.