Amid the gloom of Richmond’s performance against Greater Western Sydney at Canberra’s StarTrack Oval last Saturday was some clear hope for the future, through the continued impressive progress of talented Tiger cub Jayden Short.
The 20-year-old, who was elevated from the rookie list to senior list at Tigerland early this season, has developed into an important member of the team’s backline, after kicking three goals in his Round 2 AFL debut against Collingwood in a small-forward role.
He was omitted from the line-up following the Round 3 loss to Adelaide, returned for three more senior appearances (Round 7-9), before being dropped again, but subsequently was recalled for the Round 12 match against Gold Coast at the MCG.
Recast as a small defender, Short has averaged 18.4 disposals per match in his past seven games. He’s generated valuable run out of the backline for the Tigers and used the ball, predominantly by foot, with trademark efficiency.
Short had 23 disposals against the Giants last Saturday (20 of them kicks), including a team-high six rebound-50s, three inside-50s, and he took five marks.
Particularly noteworthy was the fact Short’s 580 metres gained throughout the match were the most by a Richmond player on the day, and the second highest of any player on the ground (behind star GWS veteran Heath Shaw, with 750 metres gained).
With his pace, kicking skills and football ‘smarts’, Short seems set for a long, successful career at Richmond.