Nick Rielwoldt, St Kilda’s ever courageous captain

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By Andrew Chow

For 14 Years Nick Rielwoldt has been one of St Kilda’s most loyal and important players.

Since being St Kilda’s No.1 Draft Pick in the 2000 AFL Draft and making his debut in 2001, Saint Nick has performed marvellously for his club. Starting out with his breakout season in 2004, Nick achieve what a lot of young AFL players  only wish to achieve by achieving a AFL record of 256 marks and finishing in the top ten in the Coleman and Brownlow Medal. A great achieve no matter which way you look at it and to top it all off he received the AFL Associations most valuable player, The Leigh Mathews Trophy.

For his 2005 season, Nick was rewarded with his effort in 2004 by being offered the honour of captaining his club as part of a rotating policy. But that seemed to be the only positive for Nick that season, with a number of incidents putting a stain on the season. Firstly, breaking his collarbone during the third quarter against the Brisbane Lions.This incident drew controversy when he was bumped after the injury by Lions players Chris Scott and Mal Michael when it was obvious he was hurt.

For the next few season, Nick remained consistent and loyal to the St Kilda Football club, racking up the accolades and rewards deserving for a player of his calibre.

One of the pivotal moments of Captain Nick’s Career came in 2009 when he led his team to the grand final and where the Saints were defeated by Geelong by 12 points, with Riewoldt kicking one goal.

Even after the defeat in grand final, amazingly the following year in 2010, Rielwoldt and his Saints again graced the MCG in September to take on the Pies in one of the most memorable Grand finals in recent years, albeit resulting in a draw and a loss.

While Riewoldt has achieved highs in his career, he has been through controversies in his career. Namely, the December 2010 scandal involved a photo with a nude image of Riewoldt that was posted on the social networking site Facebook, by a 17-year-old girl.

While this scandal did put scrutiny towards the St Kilda Football Club and Riewoldt, at no point did the tall figure and St Kilda Captain lose the view of being one of the AFL’s best captains and respected figures.

While his career is past its prime according to some, Rielwoldt still remains one of the AFL’s best and most courageous captains; through the highs and lows Rielwoldt has always put himself out there for his club and for the game of AFL.

For all AFL fans out there, when his time comes, when Captain Nick does hang up his boots, we should all take a moment to appreciate the fact that, no matter which club we follow, we have a player Like Nick Riewoldt playing in OUR National game.


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