Fun Tiger times for Grimes

Dylan Grimes1Reliable Richmond backman Dylan Grimes is having the time of his football life at Tigerland.

The 25-year-old, who has made 84 senior appearances with the Tigers, is thriving on the team’s winning run at the start of the 2017 season, and the changed game plan.

“It’s an absolute credit to ‘Dimma’ (coach Damien Hardwick) and the coaching staff because this year I feel like the boys are playing with a lot more freedom . . . make the decision and make the play based on what the cards have presented,” Grimes told SEN.

“In previous years, there was a lot more structure about how we moved the ball and it was pretty easy for other teams to defend.

“But, at the moment, players are encouraged to play to their strengths and play their own brand of footy.

“Obviously, we have team rules that we abide by, but, ultimately, Dimma’s put the power in our hands to make the decisions in the moment.

“We’ve got some great players that just play on instinct and having a game plan like that really plays to their strengths and their abilities . . .

“A guy like Dusty (Dustin Martin) is flourishing this year, because he can play his own brand.

“We’re seeing the young forwards, as well, just play their own brand of footy and bring to the table what their strengths are.

“It’s been really good to watch and a really fun style of game to play, to be honest, because you’re getting the best out of each player.

“I’m definitely having more fun out there than I think I ever have . . .

“As a negating defender, offensive ball isn’t really a priority of mine, too much. But to move with speed through the corridor is always exciting for the fans to watch.

“Hopefully, we keep playing an exciting brand of footy, with a focus on defensive pressure.”

Grimes was one of Richmond’s best in the Round 5 Anzac Day Eve win against Melbourne, and he received two votes in the AFL Coaches Association’s Player of the Year award for his valuable defensive efforts throughout the night.