Ask any Richmond supporter and they’ll tell you all about how Dustin Martin had the greatest individual season of all time in 2017.
Although that may be a little over-exaggerated, there’s no doubt Dusty amazed anyone who had the opportunity to watch him last season.
According to Brisbane Lions legend Jonathon Brown, Dusty hasn’t reached the same heights this season as he did in 2017.
While there are still stints of dominance and plays where he showcases unstoppable force, Brown says there’s another level the 2017 Brownlow medalist can reach.
“I don’t think his body is as cut as it was last year,” Brown said on Fox Footy’s On The Couch.
Last year, Martin was awarded the Brownlow medal, the AFLPA MVP award and the Norm Smith medal.
During the season the Richmond star averaged the most centre clearances and inside 50s as well as the most score involvements per game.
And although this season Martin has remained atop the pack, his numbers have fallen back down to earth. Martin is averaging 4.9 fewer disposals, 3 fewer contested possessions, 2.8 fewer ground ball gets and 1.2 fewer clearances.
“I think he might run into a little bit better fitness as the season goes on,” Brown said.
“He’s all right. But if you have a look at his numbers, they’re down on 2017.
“Most likely they were going to go down after the season he had last year. But I still think he’s got another gear to go to.
“Maybe he’s timing his run.
“I thought he was in ripping condition last year and I just think he can go to another level.”
Martin continued his dominance in the late rounds last season and the same thing may occur in 2018. The Tigers haven’t yet secured their spot atop the ladder and speculation continues to grow on whether they can win a game on the road.
Martin would love to come out and dominate as he did last season to reassure the league he and the Tigers are the real deal.