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Remember when: Fletcher’s first tussle with Tigers

Dustin Fletcher first played against Richmond in Round 13, 1993. He was in his seventh AFL game, aged 18 years and 51 days, and Princes Park was the venue.

When he reaches the 400 mark against the Tigers on Saturday night the crowd at the MCG will be a little larger than the 19,105 people that were on hand 22 years back.

A lot has changed since Fletcher and the Bombers thrashed John Northey’s mob by 78 points.

For instance, three of Fletcher’s teammates that day have coached.

The First Time They Met Dustin-01

Tim Watson was first, his 44-game stint in charge of St Kilda ended with 12 wins, 31 losses, and a draw.

Mark Harvey and Mark Thompson have coached two teams each – Thompson won two flags with the Cats while Harvey was in charge of Fremantle (97 games) and Brisbane (three games).

The opposition also had a would-be coach in their line-up. Matthew Knights coached the Bombers from 2008-2010 before being moved on for James Hird.

Wayne Campbell went on to play 297 games for Richmond and is now the national umpiring director.

Speaking of umpires, Peter Carey was one of the men in charge that day. He took one the most infamous marks the game has seen when he was umpiring in 1999.

For the record, Richmond champion Dale Weightman was the oldest player on the ground that day at 33 years and 266 days.

Fletcher has played with 164 teammates in his 399 games with Essendon.