Prelim pain to spur Dusty: Cotchin
Trent Cotchin says Dustin Martin will be motivated by the wounds of Richmond's dramatic preliminary final loss as the club's season of redemption awaits on Thursday.
The Tigers will run into an improved Carlton side fresh from a strong JLT Series, with Cotchin conceding Richmond is unlikely to tag brilliant Blues skipper Patrick Cripps.
Martin could barely run or jump in last year's shock preliminary final, with David Astbury also well below par after spending the previous night in hospital with illness.
The Tigers conceded Collingwood was the better side on the night, but it won't mean they don't draw some motivation from that dirty night.
Cotchin said he knew how badly Martin's knee was beaten up and is sure Martin won't have forgotten that torrid loss.
"Yeah, definitely. You look at Rancey (Alex Rance), Jack (Riewoldt), Dusty, they are all super competitive guys and it's what holds them to account but it also breeds a good culture for our younger guys,'' he told the Herald Sun.
"I was pretty well aware of (the extent of his injury) but I think most teams would take Dusty on one leg. It is a part of our game.
"You can't play every game at 100 per cent. I don't think I have every played a game at 100 per cent and it is what it is."
Martin last week revealed his 2018 battle with anxiety and depression as he struggled with the expectation of equalling his flawless 2017 season.
Cotchin believes his ability to work on mindfulness and find joy in hobbies including reading and restaurants has helped him become the mature person he is.
"He is leading by example but also by some of the lessons he has learnt," close mate Cotchin said.
"About dealing with expectation, finding things that interest you and a purpose greater than footy outside the four walls and how much that can make you happy, especially if you don't have a great game.
"I made a comment not long ago about him being in touch with his spiritual side.
"People find that hard to believe about him being an unassuming character and he doesn't typically give you a lot unless you are close to him but he's a special person.
"I have enjoyed watching and being a part of his growth as a footballer but most importantly as a person."
Cotchin and Martin will be part of the midfield brigade that tries to negate Cripps' stoppage game, with the Tigers skipper aware he can't be totally shut out of a contest.
"It is hard not to think about (tagging him). We don't really tag. We have got Kingers (Adam Kingsley) in as our new midfield coach so he might have thoughts on that but he is a superstar. Standing next to him he's nearly as tall as Toby Nankervis, our ruckman.
"He is a hard unit to stop but if you can disrupt his influence you will be trying to do that as a team."