'DUSTY' in Orange? Even now, it seems strange to think about.
However, Dustin Martin's manager Ralph Carr has revealed the remarkable and mysterious story of how the three-time Norm Smith Medal winner nearly moved to Greater Western Sydney in 2013 … only for the deal to get pulled "from above".
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Speaking on Trade Radio alongside the Giants' list manager at the time, Stephen Silvagni, Carr spoke of the extraordinary details surrounding the club's mega five-year offer worth around $700,000 per year for a player who had just turned 22 years of age.
Martin publicly toured the facilities of the AFL's newest expansion club on the eve of the Trade Period, while Richmond even released a statement saying the player would "pursue other opportunities".
Then, in a flash, the deal was dead.
"We thought the deal was done," Carr said.
"Between Dustin, myself and SOS, we thought he was a GWS player at that point.
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"We'd been up there, Dustin was going to reunite with his father in Sydney because he'd had personal issues about not being closer to his father and we thought the deal was done.
"The next thing I heard, it got pulled from above. I don't think even SOS knows where it got pulled from."
Even now, Silvagni is unsure of who pulled the deal – "I actually don't know," he laughed on Thursday – while seven years on Carr is just as perplexed, saying he couldn't gather whether it had come from the club or the League.
"I have no idea," he said.
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"We thought it was done and then the next time I spoke to SOS, we just didn't know. We knew it came from above. Maybe it was the CEO, maybe it was someone at the AFL, I'm not too sure."
The rest, as they say, is history. Martin has won three premierships with Richmond, has become the only player to win three Norm Smith Medals as well, while he also capped a remarkable 2017 season with the Brownlow Medal.
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As for the Giants … well, what could have been?
"You put Dustin Martin in that GWS team, which they were assembling then, wow … I dare say they would have won a couple of flags," Carr said.