Speedy defender Rhyan Mansell is officially a Tiger, with the Club lodging paperwork on Thursday to recruit the Woodville West Torrens (SANFL) premiership player.
Mansell, 20, who hails from Tasmania, where he also won three senior flags with North Launceston, has been training with the Club since January 7, as part of the AFL’s Supplementary Selection Period (SSP).
Richmond National Recruiting Manager, Matt Clarke, said Mansell had been on the Club’s radar for several years.
“We have always liked his stuff because he suited what we like in a player; super competitive, physical, (and with) really good speed,” he explained.
“He has Richmond qualities and that ability to come in hard and tackle.”
Mansell had been a relative newcomer to the main football pathways in recent years after he instead focused his energies on an elite junior cricket career throughout his teens.
“He played footy, but he was in the cricket pathways. He also played soccer mainly as a kid, so he was not in all the (football) squads like a lot of kids are,” Clarke said.
“To go into Woodville West Torrens last year under an excellent coach (Jade Sheedy) and into a great footy club and brilliantly run organisation was fantastic.
“When he went there from Tasmania, it gave us confidence he could do well, and he obviously fitted into a really good team and won a flag, which was a big tick.”
Mansell was often entrusted with playing on the opposition’s best small forward throughout the SANFL season in which he played every game and was a consistent performer.
The 180cm talent was also terrific in the premiership triumph gathering 20 disposals, including 17 kicks, eight marks and five tackles.
“We watched all his vision and the live streaming last year, but it is just not the same as actually being there,” Clarke said referring to the constraints of recruiting throughout COVID-19.
“So, to be able to get him over here to train was great and a chance for us to also see how he could fit into our system and how quickly he would be able to learn, which he has.
“We have been able to have a bit of a look at how he might adapt to the way we play and defend, and he has coped really well.”