The name Rioli is synonymous with the AFL Grand Final. Maurice Rioli won the Norm Smith Medal in 1982 for Richmond, and Cyril Rioli won the same award in 2015 in his fourth premiership win. Former Rebel Daniel Rioli is hoping that, in his 43rd AFL game since being drafted as the 15th pick in the 2015 NAB AFL National Draft, he can earn the same honours as his uncle and cousin.
After coming down to Ballarat from the Tiwi Islands as a 16 year old, Daniel took some time to find his feet but, much in the same vein as his AFL career, once he did he impressed everyone, including Rebels Talent Manager Phil Partington.
“[Daniel] came to Rebels training two or three times as a 16 year old but decided it wasn’t for him”, recalled Partington on Rioli’s early days in Ballarat.
“He played for Newlyn as a 17 year old, then we invited him back in [to the Rebels]”.
“He didn’t play football for St Patrick’s College in Year 11 either, so we watched him [the next year] when he transferred to East Point in the Ballarat Football League and invited him in after a phone call to Daniel that I made personally, and he went from strength to strength when he committed to a full-time program, and you can see the rewards now”.
No matter which side is victorious in today’s 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final, the Greater Western Victoria Rebels will be adding names to our honour roll of AFL premiership players, and if another premiership medal ends up in the Rioli family, there’ll be four more names in the Rebels AFL premiership Hall of Fame.
Our Grand Final Rebels schedule for the week looked like this, click on the name for past articles…
Monday – Shaun Grigg
Tuesday – David Astbury
Wednesday – Brad Crouch
Thursday – Matt Crouch
Friday – Dan Butler
Grand Final Day – Daniel Rioli