Brisbane’s Daniel Rich will play his 200th AFL game against North Melbourne on Saturday night. Teammate Ryan Lester writes about the role he plays as a delegate with the AFLPA, his evolution as a player and his reputation as a prankster at the Lions.
I remember arriving in Brisbane after the 2010 draft. At the time, Daniel Rich was the new up and coming face of the club.
With stars like Simon Black and Jonathan Brown coming to the latter part of their careers, ‘Richy’ along with Jack Redden and Tom Rockliff were seen as the new breed taking the club forward.
Naturally, I immediately looked up to these guys and over the past nine years I have been lucky enough to call them all close mates.
Over this period, a number of our young guns have changed clubs for a variety of reasons, leaving Richy as our longest serving and most loyal player.
During the course of his career he’s played an important role for our club off the field, most notably as a long-serving delegate of the AFL Players’ Association.
The role he has acting as a conduit between the players, club and AFLPA is so important and Richy embraces it. He is a great delegate for our club, and is no doubt held in high esteem among the AFL playing group.
He’s the type of guy who always makes an effort to follow up and find out the answers to any questions we might have to make sure we’re getting the best possible representation and support.
The work he has done for us and the type of person he is, is part of the reason we’re all so happy to see him playing such great football in 2019.
As a player he’s always had the ability to change a game in a matter of moments with his long left foot. He’s been doing it ever since he took home the Rising Star award in 2009.
However this year Richy has gone to another level with his consistent high performances putting him in All Australian contention. He is known for his left foot, but as a club we respect him more for his toughness and courage. He’s one of our best!
Sometimes when you are around a football club for a significant period of time you need a change-up. For Richy, that coincided with ‘Fages’ (Brisbane coach Chris Fagan) coming on board. Over the last three years, he has found himself as a dangerous half-back, and no doubt he is more comfortable in himself as a person.
I know that people keep saying he’s the only surviving member of the Lions’ 2009 finals campaign and that loyalty is unheralded – hopefully we can give him another shot at it this year!