Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has defended Dustin Martin after the returning star Tiger was criticized for not doing any media interviews after last weekend’s win over Collingwood.
- Damien Hardwick said Dustin Martin doesn’t feel comfortable in media interviews
- Hardwick said Martin provides more than enough to the game with his brilliant play to make up for a few missed interviews
- The Tigers coach said Martin’s return has provided a boost for the entire club
Martin was playing his first game back after a six-week absence taken for personal reasons.
Speaking to Saturday Morning Sport on ABC Radio Melbourne, Hardwick said Martin has never been comfortable in a media setting, and was disappointed by some of the criticism.
“I was probably a little bit upset at a few people that made it more about them and less about Dustin,” Hardwick said.
“He’s just electric at what he does, but it doesn’t mean that brilliance is going to transfer into a media performer. And he doesn’t feel comfortable in that space, he doesn’t feel comfortable sharing his life story.
“He’s not really interested in providing a running commentary on his life and what it looks like and feels like to be Dustin Martin. That’s not him.
“It’s not an arrogance, it’s just a sense of he likes being his own man. He’s very insulated, he doesn’t let a lot of people in.”
Martin kicked two goals against the Magpies last week in a solid return to action, and Hardwick said the three-time Norm Smith medallist provides more than enough for the game with his play alone.
“At what stage do we say ‘this guy has provided two and a half hours of entertainment, he basically lost a kidney last year. He gives a lot this guy’.
“And don’t get me wrong, he gets paid a lot for what he does, but he provides an incredible service by the people paying their money to see two and a half hours of Dustin Martin’s brilliance.
“At what stage is that enough? Do we really need two questions to sit there and provide the icing on the cake? Or are we just happy for Dustin to do what he does and provide the brilliance he does on a weekly basis?
Richmond will go into their round nine game against Hawthorn in the top eight and with improving form, and Hardwick said the return of their talisman gave the entire club a timely boost.
“To have him back last week was incredibly important, and it gave our whole club a lift,” he said.
“He still has his good days and his bad days, but for him to just be there to play his game, it was enormous.
“You could see when he did kick that goal, every single player on the ground got to him. All our coaching staff were a little bit misty eyed in the coaches’ box too
“It’s great to see players come back from adversity, but it’s just great to see the fans applaud such a player coming back as well. It was a really touching moment not only for Richmond but for the AFL.”
Posted 21m ago21 minutes agoSat 14 May 2022 at 1:31 am, updated 6m ago6 minutes agoSat 14 May 2022 at 1:45 am
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