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Dimma's call brings tears for new Tiger

Parsons' brain fade wastes golden chance James Parsons has a chance to soccer the goal, but instead picks the ball up and loses possession
When you start Auskick at the age of six, it's your dream to play AFL football. When that call finally comes, it's like, 'Hang on, it's finally here'
Ryan Garthwaite

RICHMOND debutant Ryan Garthwaite was reduced to tears when he received the call from Damien Hardwick that he would be fulfilling a lifelong dream against Geelong at the MCG.

The second-year defender was thrown in the deep end on Sunday, sent to in-form forward Tom Hawkins after David Astbury failed to overcome an ankle injury.

Garthwaite said it was hard to keep his emotions in check when he was told of his selection just 24 hours before the match.

"He told me and I tried to keep my emotions together, when you get that it's a dream come true and (I) shed a few tears," Garthwaite told AFL.com.au.

"When he rang me, I was just sitting in my room, it was that surreal feeling.

"When you start Auskick at the age of six, it's your dream to play AFL football. When that call finally comes, it's like, 'Hang on, it's finally here'.

"The family weren't originally coming down for the weekend but as soon as I told them, they jumped in the car and came straight down."

Hawkins kicked two goals in an ominous first term before Garthwaite found his feet.

"I just needed to reset again, I was getting a bit high up the ground rather than covering the back space and that's how he was getting them," he said.

"Lining up on him is another opportunity to improve, obviously he's a well-known footballer and a big lump of a lad.

"When I go out there I accept any challenge that's thrown at me, I'm a competitive person and that's the way I play."

Ryan Garthwaite and family with ex-Tiger Emmett Dunne, who presented him with his guernsey

The Murray Bushrangers product typified the Tigers' intensity with a gutsy smother to deny Cat James Parsons a certain goal in the second term, something he described as second nature.

"I think that's another part of my game is my competitiveness and my desperation," he said.

"I got pushed in the back, slid on my knees and crawled to get the hand out there. We all celebrate that, there were countless times the boys got a smother in today.

"That's just who we are at Richmond."

Hardwick said it was rewarding to unveil the club's second debutant of the season after 2017 first-round draft pick Jack Higgins forced his way into the side in round three.

"To see young Garthwaite come in, he's a very popular member of our footy club, one for his character but two for his incredible work rate, the way he approaches his training," he said.

"For a first-game player to play on one of the premier forwards in the competition, he'll certainly learn a lot.

"We've always known he's going to be a pretty good player, he's a David Astbury-type clone."
And as for the 19-year-old's Gatorade shower after the 18-point victory.

"It took my breath away to be honest, it felt like there were 50 Gatorade bottles being thrown at me," he said.

Recruited from the Bushrangers via Corowa-Rutherglen, Garthwaite was taken at pick No.72 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.