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Broad's odds narrowing for round one Tiger debut

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 15: Nathan Broad of the Tigers in action during the Richmond Tigers training session at Punt Road Oval, Melbourne on January 15, 2016. (Photo: Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
New Tiger Nathan Broad has impressed in his first AFL pre-season
I like to take the best player if possible to better myself
Nathan Broad

PLAYING on star teammate Jack Riewoldt all pre-season has given mature-age Richmond recruit Nathan Broad a gilt-edged chance to now push for a round one debut.

Broad has been one of the Tigers' best trainers this summer and the West Australian will be unveiled in front of family and friends in Friday night's NAB Challenge clash against Fremantle in Mandurah. 

It will be a chance for the 22-year-old to stake his claim in a backline that is rife with competition between medium and tall defenders.  

Hard work has played a big role in the apprentice plumber's emergence this pre-season, as has some valuable tutelage from the Tigers' leading goalkicker. 

"I've been playing on Jack for most of the pre-season and in the match simulation stuff and he's been great," Broad told

"I like to take the best player if possible to better myself.

"Playing on Jack, he tells you where he doesn't like defenders to stand and what makes life difficult for a forward, which helps a lot.

"He's a very good forward, so if you get the chance to play on him you can learn a lot of things."

At 192cm, Broad concedes three centimetres to Riewoldt – and 180 games of AFL experience– but he has been able to showcase his speed, clean ball use and composure consistently.

He was particularly impressive in the Tigers' most recent intra-club match, showing he can also be used as a rebounding player.

"High-speed running and endurance is my strength, so I try and play to my strengths and use that in games," he said. 

"Back home I was a rebounder defender, I'd try and get the touches as well as lock down on my man so I think I'll have a similar role here." 

Getting a chance on an AFL list at 22 means Broad is willing to do "whatever the coaches ask" in training.

Nathan Broad takes a brief break at Tiger training. Picture: AFL Media

It's an approach that paid off in his time at WAFL club Swan Districts, where coach Greg Harding cut to the core with his feedback in 2014, while Broad was playing reserves. 

"He was absolutely brutal in telling me what I needed to hear … that I wasn't being composed and I was just blazing away," Broad said. 

"He wouldn't play me at league level until I fixed it, so I just worked on my composure and hitting targets and had a good pre-season."

Broad went on to play 20 league games in 2015, averaging 20 possessions and re-emerging as a draft prospect.

Training is naturally more intense now and the AFL game plan needs to be studied, but the Dongara product is feeling comfortable at Punt Road Oval. 

"If I keep trying to improve every day at the club, I can't see why I can't play round one," he said.