12 in 12: Tyrone Vickery

No. 7: Ty Vickery is crucial to the Tigers’ team structure

Following a breakout 2011 season, where he kicked 36 goals and finished fifth in the Jack Dyer Medal, talented forward-ruckman, Ty Vickery, had a year he’d probably prefer to forget in 2012.

A shoulder injury sustained in the pre-season severely hampered Vickery’s progress, as he sought to build on the substantial gains made throughout 2011.

By the halfway mark of the year, with Vickery struggling for fitness, the Tigers decided to write off the rest of his 2012 season and send him in for shoulder surgery, so he’d be raring to go in 2013.

Even though Vickery was clearly restricted in his movements during his on-field time this year, his importance to the team’s overall structure was evident.

Vickery’s presence in the side provided star big man mature-age recruit, Ivan Maric, with a decent chop-out in the ruck at key stages during a match. It enabled Maric to spend more time “resting” up forward, where he proved more than a handful for opposition backs.

And, Vickery also eased the pressure on Richmond’s star spearhead, Jack Riewoldt, with opposing teams forced to focus on another tall, damaging Tiger forward, rather than just the one.

How many goals do you think a fit Ty Vickery can kick in season 2013?

With Vickery in the line-up, the Tigers don’t have to place all their eggs up forward in the one basket.

He is a genuine target for them to aim at, with his 200cm height, strong marking, mobility, accurate kicking and overall football ‘smarts’.

Since the advent of the AFL’s substitution rule, the value of big men such as Vickery has risen significantly. The rotation of rucks on and off the bench has gone the way of the drop kick.

These days, the overwhelming majority of clubs in the competition (those without two genuine gun ruckmen) opt for tall players, who can hold down a key role in their line-up, and also pinch-hit in the ruck as required.

Ty Vickery fills the bill perfectly . . .

Tomorrow, it’s all about maximising opportunities.

for richmondfc.com.au
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