This time last year, Dan Butler’s career was at a crossroads. A litany of injuries meant that he had spent three years on Richmond’s list without having played a senior game, and the worry was that his chance had passed him by.
But the Tigers persisted, and Butler got his chance in Round 1 of this season against Carlton. 22 games, 29 goals and a NAB Rising Star Nomination later, and Butler was one of the first names that Richmond coach Damien Hardwick would have read out when naming the Tigers’ Grand Final side, their first since 1982.
Taken with the 67th pick in the 2014 AFL National Draft after a standout top-age year with the Rebels in 2014, which included Vic Country selection for the NAB Under 18 National Championships and a VFL game with the North Ballarat Roosters, the boy from Lake Wendouree is finally showing the talent that impressed so many at the Rebels, including Talent Manager Phil Partington.
“As a 16 & 17 year old, he probably didn’t know how good he was going to be”, recounted Partington when asked about Butler earlier this week.
“He didn’t yet have the confidence in his body or his ability, but he was always a quick lateral mover and the signs were there”.
“To see him excel as an 18 year old with the Rebels was exciting, and he also played well for Vic Country”.
Much like his TAC Cup career, now that Dan Butler has worked into his AFL career he is starting to shine, and in 24 hours time, he could be shining a lot brighter as a Richmond premiership player.
Our Grand Final Rebels schedule for the week looks like this, click on the name for past articles…
Monday – Shaun Grigg
Tuesday – David Astbury
Wednesday – Brad Crouch
Thursday – Matt Crouch
TODAY – Dan Butler
Grand Final Day – Daniel Rioli