RICHMOND has invited East Perth forward Mitch Schofield and New Zealander Mykelti Lefau to train with the club during the pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP).
The pair started training with Adem Yze's squad on Monday morning – beginning life at Punt Road with the 2km time trial – and are expected to be given until at least Christmas to earn a shot on the rookie list.
Schofield produced a breakout season in the WAFL this year, kicking 30 goals to become a permanent fixture for the Royals.
The 22-year-old focused on baseball during his childhood and was set to move to the United States to play in the NCAA before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the world in 2020.
The 194cm mobile forward played local football instead that season before being spotted by East Perth, where he has gradually earned more senior opportunities across the past 18 months, attracting interest from a few clubs across the back end of 2023.
Lefau moved from Auckland to Melbourne in 2012 and spent time in Melbourne Storm's development program before deciding to focus on football rather than rugby league.
The 23-year-old played some games for the Casey Demons before the pandemic, then returned to local football level where he played for St Kilda City in the Southern Football Club.
Lefau joined Richmond's VFL program ahead of the 2022 season and played six games before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear that ended his first season with the Tigers.
But after a long recovery, the 195cm, 96kg utility returned in June and played 11 VFL games to put his career back on track.
Richmond has rewarded a growing number of players out of the club's VFL program in recent times, with James Trezise, Tylar Young and Jake Aarts all graduating to the AFL list at the Swinburne Centre, while Massimo D'Ambrosio and Sam Durham have also landed AFL chances elsewhere after playing VFL football for the Tigers.
The SSP opened on Monday and will run until February 19 with Schofield and Lefau likely to return after the Christmas break if they impress between now and the end of training in December.