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Shy South Australian Shane Edwards reaches 150-game milestone at Tigers

Shane Edwards of the Tigers in action during the 2014 AFL Round 13 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Fremantle Dockers at the MCG, Melbourne on June 14, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Shane Edwards has been integral to the Tigers' late-season resurgence
SHANE Edwards' journey to 150 AFL games started when he was a shy South Australian kid who was too scared to play football.  

Today, he’s a Richmond player coach Damien Hardwick has labelled as "an incredible talent". In fact, Hardwick says Edwards has improved every year he's coached him. 

Edwards has been a key part of the Tigers' late-season resurgence with his forward line pressure and ability to contribute on the scoreboard.

When he plays his 150th game Sunday afternoon against St Kilda in front of his father Greg and mother Tara, it will be a good opportunity for the Edwards family to reflect on his path to Tigerland. 

The path began in the Adelaide suburb of Golden Grove, where Edwards was more interested in basketball than football until his best mate joined the local club. 

Jealousy of what his friend was doing led to Edwards playing the following year. 

He went from the Golden Grove Kookaburras to SANFL club North Adelaide, which recruited him when he was playing under-13s and essentially pulled off a coup when Central District got his age wrong and failed to secure him under the father-son rule. 

From there, it was to Richmond via the 2006 NAB AFL Draft, which Edwards still recalls as being a total shock. 

With a family possessing rich SANFL history, Edwards never dreamed he would play in the national competition and was content to follow in the footsteps of his father, uncle and grandfather. 

But he ended up at Richmond where he's not only grown as a footballer but also a person, with the recent public acknowledgment of his Indigenous heritage a huge part of his journey.

"[Talking about it] threw me in the deep end a bit because I still consider myself to be shy but I feel like I've got a lot of responsibility now," Edwards told the AFL Record.

"I've no doubt it's helped with everything in my life. It's made me more proud of what I'm doing."

Read the full story in the round 22 edition of the AFL Record, which is available at all grounds.