Edwards reflects on joining 300-game club Richmond



Shane Edwards will become just the fifth Richmond player and eighth Indigenous player to play 300 V/AFL games in Sunday’s big clash with Brisbane.

The three-time premier joins Kevin Bartlett (403 games), Jack Riewoldt (321), Jack Dyer (311) and Francis Bourke (an even 300) on the milestone.

Soft-spoken Edwards said it’s been a “surreal” long journey to the brand.

“It just doesn’t suit me or me right now. They’re legends of the game and people I’ve looked up to for so long,” Edwards said.

“It’s probably one of those things where I’ll look back and see my name on the list and smile, I’m honestly at a loss for words.”

Edwards has vivid memories of his first game, which came in the fourth round, in 2007 against the Western Bulldogs under Terry Wallace.

“I started on the bench and came on the wing, playing on Brad Johnson. He took me straight into the goal place, obviously feeling some weakness. I played the rest of the game and I thought it was the biggest day of my life up to that point,” he said.

“I always think back to the hard times to make me appreciate the last five years and how hard it is to get there. It’s really been an amazing rise where we came from when I got here. The club is in a different position, everything looks different, it’s quite mind blowing how things can change over time.

“From some of those dark times we had some of our best players like ‘Cotch’ and ‘Dusty’ (Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin), you can’t remember those times too much.”

Despite having 299 games under his belt, the dynamic Edwards still hasn’t found a favored position, having played on all three lines and even captained the club at one point in 2019.

“I had a few discussions with Dimma during the end-of-season and mid-year reviews, and we’re still trying to figure out where I’m playing my best football. That’s something we’ll probably never understand.

“All I knew going through juniors and playing here is that if I can be a really good teammate then that will probably get me pretty far. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since the first day, trying to be someone my teammates want to play with every week and add to the selfless culture we have here.”

Club CEO Brendon Gale spoke enthusiastically about the impact Edwards has had on all aspects of the club.

“Shane has been a wonderful player. He’s been at the heart of some of the biggest moments in the biggest games of the last 10 to 12 years,” Gale said.

“We often say that the true test of a player’s worth is his ability to improve the players around him. If that’s the case, there’s none better than Shane Edwards. He’s been remarkable for improve the players around him.

“Secondly, I can make the case very clearly that he is perhaps our most influential player. His journey and his growth along that journey has really coincided with our growth and our journey as a football club, and especially when we opened our minds and hearts to our First Nations people, it made us a better football club and a better team.

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