Brendan Fevola calls out Dustin Martin's post-match move as manager makes huge AFL reveal

Is the Richmond Tigers champion retiring or playing on in 2025?

Brendan Fevola might not have been on the money about Dustin Martin playing his final game for Richmond last weekend, but he's still convinced the AFL champion will be playing for Gold Coast next year. Earlier this month, Fevola made staggering claims that Martin would 'temporarily' retire after his 300th game last Saturday, before siting out the rest of 2024 and signing with the Suns for 2025.

But Martin put that theory to bed when he told Jack Riewoldt during a post-game interview that he'd be back in action in two weeks' time after Richmond's bye. However Fevola isn't convinced, pointing out that Martin basically did a lap of honour around the MCG in a move that Fev reckons was "saying goodbye" to Tigers fans.

Brendan Fevola and Dustin Martin.
Brendan Fevola reckons Dustin Martin was saying goodbye to Richmond fans and still might not see out the year. Image: Getty

Fevola pointed out that Martin kicked the opening goal of the match but then "went missing", claiming the 32-year-old has "checked out". He said on Triple M radio: “At the end of the game, the last question Jack asked was, ‘are you going to be back in a couple of weeks?’ … because it was around everywhere last week that he was done (retiring).

“He said, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll freshen up this week and we’ll be back the week after’. Now I don’t know about that because when you play 300 games you get chaired off, walk off the ground and everyone claps.

Dustin Martin after his 300th AFL game.
Dustin Martin showed his appreciation for Tigers fans at the MCG. Image: Getty

“Dustin Martin did something that I’ve never seen a 300-game player do before. He did a lap of honour pretty much. And Dustin Martin, who’s a quiet man, very reserved, very humble, he waved to everybody. He was clapping to the crowd. He was really lapping it up.

“I reckon he was saying goodbye. He was saying to the 92,000 supporters - they were all Richmond fans - thank you to the beloved Richmond supporters. But I reckon there was something else in it. You could see he was welling up in his eyes and clapping everybody. I think he’s cooked. He needs to rest his body. He’s played 300 games.

“(The game) was a script writer’s dream. The first goal kicked of the game was by the great Dustin Martin … and then he went missing. That was all he did. He might play on to the end of the year, but he’ll finish up at Richmond by the end of the year. And he will go play for the Gold Coast for maybe one or two years – (he will) sit in the goal square, get paid a crapload of money and join Damien Hardwick - they’re best mates.”

Dustin Martin and Jack Riewoldt.
Dustin Martin told Jack Riewoldt in a post-game interview that he'll be playing on in 2024. Image: Getty

Meanwhile, Martin's manager Ralph Carr has confirmed that a number of AFL clubs have enquired about his services for 2025. Carr said he's hopeful Martin will extend his career past 2024.

“I am hoping so," he said on 3AW radio. "We often have those discussions at the end of the year and we don’t like to talk about it during the year so it’s one of those things."

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On Monday night, leading reporter Caroline Wilson said the Tigers are waiting for Martin to inform them of whether he'll be playing on before offering a contract extension. "They want him to play for the next two years or for the next year and help the younger guys," Wilson said on Channel 9. "He hasn't said that yet."

But Wilson and Kane Cornes both said Martin's recent performances wouldn't warrant an extension. "He didn't look like a player you'd give a two-year contract to," Wilson said. "He kicked one brilliant goal at the start of the game and that was it."

Cornes added: "He had a lot of (James) Sicily who got 10 coaches votes and who exposed him the other way. I'd want to see a lot more, certainly with his motivation, can he buy in for a pre-season? Does he want to set the standards? Is he prepared to not win many games for the next couple of years? And I'd want to see an increase in his performance. It's the perfect time for him to retire."