Dustin Martin's telling hint about AFL future as absurd act sends Tigers fans into meltdown

Martin shut down suggestions he may retire after his 300th game.

Dustin Martin has shut down talks he could retire after his 300th AFL game on Saturday, breaking his media hiatus in the process. The notoriously private Martin denied countless media requests in recent weeks in the build-up to his milestone match but addressed his adoring Tigers fans after the full-time siren.

After being rested, or falling ill - whichever you believe - for last week's trip to Adelaide, Dusty brought up his 300th in front of a whopping 92,311-strong MCG crowd. While thousands of them were there simply to watch the three-time Norm Smith medallist in action, the others were left bitterly disappointed as the toothless Tigers were thumped 14.13 (97) to 6.13 (49) by the Hawks.

Pictured Dustin Martin
Dustin Martin shut down talks he may retire after his 300th game. Image: Getty

Martin became the seventh Tiger and 104th player in VFL/AFL history to bring up the 300-game milestone and the champion ignited the bumper crowd early by kicking the first goal just minutes into the opening quarter. From there on the 32-year-old was pretty quiet, finishing with 13 touches, two marks and a clearance as the Hawks ran away with the match.

But by the time the final siren sounded all anyone wanted to know was if this would be Martin's final game in yellow and black. Teammates Toby Nankervis and Tom Lynch chaired Martin to the boundary line, where he hugged his mum Kath and brothers Tyson and Bronson. Martin then walked over to long-time teammate Jack Riewoldt to do his first bit of media in years.


“It’s amazing,” Martin said to Fox Footy pundit Riewoldt. “Disappointing result for the club but I love the Tiger Army so much. I love the club so much. It means the absolute world to me and all the love I received this week has meant the world to me. I felt so loved this week. I appreciate it.”

Martin then gave fans a peep into his future plans amid speculation he could retire on the spot post-match. When asked by Riewoldt if we will see him in two weeks against Fremantle, Martin replied: “Yeah mate, freshen up from the bye and see how we go," as the crowd went mental.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15: Dustin Martin of the Tigers is chaired from the field after his 300th match by teammates Tom Lynch (left) and Toby Nankervis (right0 during the 2024 AFL Round 14 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at The Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 15, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Dustin Martin is chaired from the field after his 300th match by teammates Tom Lynch (left) and Toby Nankervis (right).

Despite a relatively quiet day in the Tigers' 48-point loss, Martin's vintage goal from the 50m arc showcased why he is considered one of the greatest to ever play the game. The three-time premiership player collected a handball from beyond the arc, took a few steps and launched a long bomb straight as an arrow to give the Tigers the perfect start.

In commentary, Riewoldt was blown away by the incredible goal, despite seeing him do it time and time again throughout his stellar career. “Wowee the superstar Dustin Martin in game 300,” he said. “You could see Hugo Ralphsmith, he knew what the script was, get it to the big No. 4 and he has delivered on the big stage. Eighty-thousand I’d say predominantly Richmond supporters in the house today are getting the Dusty chant up and going.”

Nathan Buckley was also stunned at how easily Martin covered the distance. "There was little energy in that too, that’s travelled 65 metres and he was dead straight,” Buckley said. "He didn’t even have the advantage of running around, it was dead straight at goal and the adrenaline that he would be feeling, he’s brought it to the table."

Riewoldt added: "The greatest showman turned up, didn’t he?" There was also a huge reaction to the goal on social media with fans gobsmacked at what Martin can still do.