Nick Riewoldt – A Champion of the Game


TWITTER – @JClark182

Nick Riewoldt is a champion of the game and is no doubt one of St Kilda’s greatest ever players.

The Saints forward has had a remarkable career since he was selected with pick one in the 2000 AFL Draft.

He averages more marks per game than any other player over the past 30 years and has won St Kilda’s best and fairest on five occasions.

Throw in a Most Valuable Player and Rising Star award, while playing in arguably the hardest position on the ground, and it puts him in the top echelon of players.

Despite persistent knee injuries, Riewoldt is looking as fit as ever and his best on ground performance against Melbourne indicates that he still has years left at the top level.

His running capacity is matched by very few in the game, and this includes midfielders.

We all know Riewoldt is a star but where does he sit amongst the other great forwards of the past decade or so?

Players like Jonathan Brown, Lance Franklin, Matthew Pavlich and co.

Brown’s amazing courage and leadership will always hold him in good stead but he has struggled with injury throughout his career.

Pavlich is another champion of the game and his versatility probably puts him just in front of Riewoldt in that regard.

Franklin’s best is simply amazing but, while he is still one of the competition’s most dangerous forwards, he has struggled a little with consistency over the last couple of seasons.

There is a perception amongst the less knowledgeable football fans that Riewoldt is soft but this cannot be further from the truth.

He is as courageous as they come and this was exemplified when he took one of the most daring and spectacular marks of all time against Sydney at the SCG a decade ago.

He has also been maligned by the football public for openly crying on a couple of occasions.

The first time was in 2005 when he was sitting on the bench nursing a broken collarbone after the infamous clash against Brisbane in the opening round.

The second time was after a close grand final loss to Geelong in 2009 after the Saints finished the minor rounds with only two losses for the season.

There is nothing wrong with crying and his public display of emotion is a true indication of his desire and passion for the St Kilda Football Club.

Riewoldt will go down in history as a true champion of the game.

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Agree with you Jackson. His performance on Saturday was wonderful, and he leads his team in both heart and effort. A wonderful soldier who just keeps on giving. Love him to bits.


  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Riewolt in my opinion top player but just short of a champion his kicking for goal and failure to dominate any games in September prevent this which is why I rank Brown ,
    Carey, Brereton well in front and Tredrea and Pavlich just . Riewolts courage and gut running is amazing but I don’t think St Kilda have used him to his and the teams best possible advantage with him roaming so far and wide to take marks . St Kilda had the stupidity to sack M Blight who with his team rules and teaching ability would have been fantastic for St Nick , and would have taken his game to another level .
    The debate over where any player sits in footys pecking order is always a interesting 1
    Thanks Jackson

  3. Agreed. He is a champion.

    It is always interesting to compare players but I don’t think Nick has a straight comparison with those of his contemporaries. He plays CHF but roams far and wide to support a struggling team.

    The diffference between Brown, Carey, Brereton and Riewoldt is not the number of premierships won, but the fact he has played in a scrubber club with scrubber culture with some ordinary team mates.

    If you transplanted him into say, Brisbane in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, Port Adelaide in the early to mid 2000’s or Geelong in the late 2000’s, he would undeniably be labelled a champion by all and sundry. The only reason there is a debate is because he plays for St Kilda. A club that has got it so wrong off the field for over half a century that if it were not so sad, would be funny.

    If I was going to compare him to another AFL player, it would be Chris Grant from Footscray/Western Bulldogs. Both immense key position players, highly skilled, courageous and extremely fit. Both, single handed match-winners. In any other team they would be in the top echelon because both would have 3 or 4 premierships to their name. They, by nothing more than the bad fortune to be drafted to the wrong club and both putting loyalty before coins, will retire without the premiership medallions that both deserve.

    Thanks Jackson.

  4. Sorry guys, don’t want to rain on the parade but whilst I agree with some of what Jackson says, I continue to reiterate that Reiwoldt is overrated. I don’t doubt that he has tremendous courage, moments of brilliance and is a fine leader in a club very much in need of leadership at present. However, he isn’t as good as we make him out to be.

    I have previously written a piece about the overuse of the word champion and that the celebration of Nick R is an example of our overuse of that word, so I won’t repeat too much of that now.

    I accept that what’s missing is premierships, but he has had that chance and has significantly under performed when it really counted. Yes, Saints fans will tell me that he was under an injury cloud one year and played on regardless, and that in one game he was triple teamed and another the conditions didn’t suit. But he’s been found wanting when it matters.

    Gut running and fitness by all means, he’s clearly a gun, however how many of those marks are taken well away from scoring opportunities, on the wing. His kicking for goal, whislt improving, is unreliable, a knock that in my view also haunts Pavlich of the current CHF crop.

    St Kilda are now an underesitmated force not to be written off this year and Nick has turned back the clock because they’ve beaten… Melbourne?

    Jackson, you make points I agree with and he will go down as a St Kilda stalwart, fine leader, and sad story in the Bob Rose vein, but I think as good as he is, top 10%, he isn’t in that real upper echelon that many make him out to be

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