Daniel Rich arrived on the AFL scene with a bang and after a standout 2021, it is obvious we can expect plenty more fireworks throughout his twilight years.
Rich stormed home to win the Rising Star award in 2009 and 13 years later he again featured in the AFL Awards ceremony when he earned his first All-Australian blazer.
The 31-year-old made the half back flank position in the All Star side his own with a stunning season that saw him collect a career high 624 disposals, becoming the fifth highest single season possession earner in Lions’ history and one of only 10 players to ever pass the 600 mark.
However, it was the way he used the ball that underlined his value. He led the AFL for metres gained, using his booming left foot out of defence to secure 15369m of valuable territory for his side.
Rich finished 1st in the competition for both kicks and effective kicks as well as rebound 50's, highlighting his precision and strong counter-attack game through the season.
It was a year that also saw the laid-back West Australian return to the leadership group where his experience and cool head were an invaluable asset to the young Lions list.
His 5th place finish in the Merrett-Murray medal was proof of his contribution to the season which saw the Lions once again finish in the top four at the end of the home and away season.
And he will be back in his customary role across half back in 2022 after signing a one-year contract extension mid-season.
Standout Performance: Rich Covers Nearly A Kilometre by Foot
In a soggy Saturday night at the Gabba, the Lions faced a formidable foe in Round 5 in Essendon.
On a wet deck, the Bombers were strong in the contest early before the Lions ran away to a 57-point win.
But it was Daniel Rich's launch off half-back that caught the competition's eye, as he racked up 31 disposals.
Of those 31 disposals, 28 touches were launched from his lethal left boot as he notched up a whopping 940 metres gained.
Rich was also dominant in the air, clunking 6 marks and jumping into the forefront of All-Australian selectors minds.
Disposals - 26 (Elite)
Kicks - 21.4 (Elite)
Marks - 5.7 (Above-Average)
Metres Gained - 640.4 (Elite)